I don't look for controversy, I swear I don't (even though it's not nice to swear)!

Maybe I can find a photo to go with this diatribe I am about to pour forth here, because it is a fact that you like to read books with pictures more than without!

SB 744 bill just passed the Senate floor last week and is on its way to the House committee any time for the final vote to make it become law. That law mandates that every charter sport fishing captain report every fishing trip, every fish caught, every person who fished on the boat, how many hours fished, and every location fished. This law authorizes the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) to decide how that information will be recorded and how it will be reported/collected, under the penalty of a Class 2 Violation.

After expressing my deep opposition to this bill to my senator, who backed it (yes, MY senator), he asked if I and some of the other captains would travel to the Capitol and speak our concerns to the House Committee. And then he suggested I call the Lt. Colonel of the LDWF. So I did, right after I printed the bill and studied it.

The Lt. Colonel was busy and handed me off to an immediate underling, who called me back yesterday . . .

When Mr. P. called, I asked him how the LDWF intended to implement this if it became law. He didn’t know. I asked him what a Class 2 Violation was, and he didn’t know. 30 hours later, he still hasn’t told me.

If our objection to keeping these records seems to you like we are just a bunch of whiners, then consider this:

You are a welder with your own welding shop. A law is passed that says every self-employed welder must report every welding project, every customer, how long each project took, where it was delivered, and how many welding rods were used. Do you think that would fly with the self-employed welders you know?

No, no way. If you take this law and apply it to jobs that people do on a self-employment basis every day, then it does seem a wee bit intrusive, doesn’t it?

Ladies and gents, I see this law as an invasion of my privacy as a charter captain. The LDWF already has the authority to sit at the landing and ask to see anyone’s catch, and to board any boat they desire and see the catch, check for life jackets, fire extinguishers, etc. They already do random polls of ten percent of charter fishermen about all this information and extrapolate their data from there.

Yes, getting exact numbers from each charter captain would be more accurate than extrapolations, but aren’t we then doing their jobs for them? And without any compensation?

And I’m not sure that the LDWF thought this through–paperwork and water and fish slime just don’t go together very well!

As some of us see it, this law is set forth under the guise of “efforts data” that helps the LDWF better manage the fisheries, and then extends the authority to impinge on our freedoms little by little. And next thing you know, we’re like the bullfrog sittingin the pot while the fire is slowly turned up a little at a time. When the frog realizes he needs to jump, it’s too late.

I’m jumping out of the pot NOW!

BW

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Comments

I don't look for controversy, I swear I don't (even though it's not nice to swear)! — 8 Comments

  1. Please keep us posted about this bill. I would like to know what a class 2 violation is when you get an answer. I wonder who will be responsible for deciding exactly what they want in the report. Far too often many bills and laws seem to pass without the necessary thought having been done before passage. I was in education and saw legislation passed that needed more thought. If the charter captains have a list of senators and representatives they want contacted please include that on the blog.

    Good luck

    Really appreciate the comment! Thanks for stopping by, too. Here’s some information, and I’m waiting for a little more. My representative to whom I’m expressing opposition is Damon Baldone. (985)876-8872 larep053@legis.state.la.us

  2. My two cents worth: I use to buy live crabs direct from the crabbers. With every purchase I had to count every crab, sort them into grades (#1, #2 and #3’s), get the crabber’s LDWF license number and have them sign it. Every month I had to redo all this information on official LDWF forms and forward it to Baton Rouge. It infuriated the crabbers for me to do all of these duties every day while they waited. I’m talking about sometimes 70 pounds (plus) of weeding through live crabs.

    The crabbers had to send in their own monthly reports with the same information. Why were we doing double work?

    I know it’s a different situation, only my input on the LDWF’s systems.

  3. Katy Bug,
    Thanks for sharing that with us. It does show an example of what they expect from private citizens whose taxes pay their salaries, too. Part of our objection to this sort of record keeping is that marine biologists are paid to do fish counts out in the water and agents are paid to do them at the landing. They want us to add this burden to our work day for free. And since I still have not gotten the answers to my 2 main questions about the bill, I remain opposed to it and am fighting it with every tool available.
    BW

  4. Here we are again, with bureaucracy impeding entrepreneurship. THIS is why I don’t work for myself.
    Furthermore, requiring you to note the name of EACH person who fished on the boat smacks of “BIG BROTHER”. Super sorry that the state doesn’t have the budget to hire all the fish and game wardens it needs, but they can’t expect you to do the job for free.
    Feel free to quote me. And feel free, if this piece of trash legislation passes, to send wet, fish smeared forms back to the MAN.

  5. Geez, BW, we were both ranting yesterday! You’ve got a good point here–it’s nuts. It reminds me of when we grew tobacco. We had to report what fields, had to have a specific quota of pounds we could raise (assigned by the govt), and all sorts of other stuff. The only good thing was the govt price supports, which I believe no longer exist.

    I agree with the BIG BROTHER comment. Way too much of that these days.

    I’ll have to go see what you were ranting about! It is good to know that a couple more people can easily see this could impinge on freedoms in the long run, too. Thanks or saying so!

  6. UPDATE: I think our opposition is working. Rumors are spreading that the LDWF is changing their position on this to voluntary reporting of information. We’ll see. Now, THAT’S how legislation should work—-listen to your constituents and respond accordingly! To be continued . . .
    BW

  7. AAAhhhhh, now I remember the number 2 reason I no longer live in the beautiful bayou state…the government is nuts!!! They don’t really want a fish count…they want to make sure your turning in your income, and the who’s who’s out fishing with whom…sssheeez louise….I wouldn’t report a thing, I’d simply tell them floating oppossum cops that I ain’t fishin…We are all out here just dumping the casino and corrupted government officials dead victums into the bayous…no problem sir, I’d never dream of taking these tourist dollar spreading citizens out to see our beautiful wetlands, teach them conservation or let them experience the wonders of fishing in these bayous, no siree’, I’m as honest as my government sir!!!
    Debbi, happily living in TEXAS
    Sorry, but that really makes my blood boil hon…that bullhockey doesnt even fly on papper!!!! What idiot claims the glory for that piece of brilliance??? And what the heck was he smokin when he wrote it??? And the rest of that comedy troup that not only read it but went ALONG with it?? Are you KIDDING me?? ARRRGHHHH…Good luck, please let us know if we need to write letters, make phone calls, or sign a petition..I’ll be first in line to bend one of those pork ears!
    And yes, please keep posting on this to keep us up todate on this. Thanks

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