Apr 11, 2014|
Don Dubuc fills in for Garland and talks with Randy Pausina of Louisiana Wildlife & Fisheries and David Cresson of LA CCA about whether the cost of fishing licenses should be raised to pay for management of the state's fishing areas.
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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)
And actually is dot dot -- with you on Fridays for the Friday edition of the think -- Garland Robinette will be back with you on Monday. This hour we talk about. Raising the cost of fishing in Louisiana police -- water fisherman. There is a bill in the legislature introduced by rep president of Stewart bishop from Lafayette. Which would raise defeat that fisherman would have to pay to fish in the states -- salt water zone from five dollars and fifty cents. 213. Dollars on the money would be deposited into a newly created salt water -- research. And conservation fund. By comparison. What it cost now was -- have a basic fishing license that's nine dollars and fifty cents. You and you pay for the 515. So you're basically paying fifteen dollars to catch saltwater fish in Louisiana that's four whole years -- If this increase goes through will be increased it's a large percentage wise it's a 136%. More. To 22 dollars and fifty cents we will go from being the second. Cheapest stayed in the gulf area to finish salt water to the second highest. Now we're gonna discuss with some of the proponents of that -- and proceed in Louisiana wildlife and fisheries assistant secretary. And find out about this money what will be used for how will benefit salt water fisherman. And also talked to David -- on who's executive director of the Louisiana chapter of the coastal conservation association who is supporting. This fee hike what do you say we ask you to participate in operating opinion poll question. It's not to survey on our website at WW dot com. Asking you if you willing to pay -- and 36% more to finish in Louisiana right now as a 100% saying. Now. And of course there's always two sides to every story. I'll I know one of the things that's going to be a big concern. Am in -- of a concern to me. But will this money be properly dedicated number one I don't think that anyone who doesn't fish shoot even. Have a say so it is that you're not going to be pain in the money yourself. You don't have a dog in the hunt why you know so far or legislate -- someone was contacting me with an opinion. Whether it be for this or against this. And lastly and sent a copy of their fishing license. You know while what I even pay attention to it. But that's another story and because this is not attacks across the board on citizens of Louisiana. This is more of a voluntary tax people are going to be asking to supported. If they fish or not to support finished. One of the other problems with this it is is a question of trust. -- a couple of examples on this program we have talked about the raiding attempts that is to raid. The rigs to refund -- to refunding money that is set aside but all companies to save them money. By allowing them to topple rigs in the gulf rather than the very. Arduous task inexpensive test. A completely dismantling those Riggs bringing them into shore and disposing of the material the money that is saved. Is allowed to be deposited into a fund called rigs to race which again is used to promote offshore saltwater fishing. While there have been attempts by our current governor of to go into that fund and take money out which had been done in the past and tried it again. Well they finally had to have threats of lawsuits to prevent that from happening saying that the money was dedicated there was some loopholes as to whether it was or not. And he finally decided not to do but is also what is called a conservation fund certain monies go in the conservation fund to be used for hunting and fishing. And outdoor recreation resources here in Louisiana. There's also a history of governors and administrations raiding that conservation fund saying that the money is better use for other purposes. And because of not total legal dedication that money has been taken. I'll give you another example. Many people don't remember the Louisiana marine resource is conservation act of 1995. There was a stamp. And this was brought about doing the governor Foster administration. On Jimmy Jenkins was ahead of Louisiana department Wallace and fisheries in the had what was called a commercial fishermen's buyback plan. Where because of laws that would be passed certain commercial fisherman -- a living by using that will basically going to be put out of business. In -- stock and specifically about red -- becoming game finished not being able to be put into commerce. Well in order to compensate. Those fisherman for that loss. There was a Bill -- became a law that there would be in the creation of a marine resources conservation stand. Which would cost every saltwater fisherman in the state three dollars extra. For a period of march 1996. To June 30 of 1996. Now everyone knows that you fishing licenses all -- -- a new birth date but they expire. On June 30 of every year and they have to be renewed for another year. So virtually everyone that was gonna finish salt water would pay this three dollars extra one year. That money would be used to buy back the nets compensate the commercial fisherman who being put out of business. The breakdown according to the law 30% of that money was gonna go to the enforcement to enforce the -- -- the remaining 70%. Would be used. In a commercial fishermen's assistance program when that money would go to them. To buy back then nets in order to properly compensate them for being taken. -- will tell you this the CCA it was a very strong proponent fact. If I believe they've actually came up with the idea. Well based on fact that we had about 300000 people buying salt or a license you would figure that's 900000. Dollars almost a million dollars. Well what turned out to happen. When they actually found out that most of the people. Who would benefit from this did not qualify. Because they could not produce the evidence that they earned a certain percent that they were really bona fide commercial fisherman it was pretty strict criteria to get this money. There were a total of and I believe that the number was eleven. Eleven fishermen will -- then they bought their nets from. Now 70% of 900000. Dollars was supposed to be used the of that. Talk in one somewhere around 600000 dollars. And certainly eleven people's station nets don't cost 600000 dollars soul and raised a question of what was all this money. Do you remember a guy by the name of Fred Asia. -- -- on at the time was the money man -- the -- in an apartment Awad and fisheries I don't know what is official title was but he was basically the chief financial officer. So I started asking around and inquiring in sending requests in the know what happened to that money since it was not needed to pay the commercial fisherman since many -- qualify. Where was that money gonna go. Was going to be going back to the people who pay it since it was needed was the rest of it going to be given to enforcement where did the Montego. And Fred praise John from that day on whenever I showed up at the wildlife and fisheries building on quail drive cover -- put a call in. He literally. Evaded me ran from the building left dodged me until his time in the administration was. So to my knowledge in minute still direct economic I don't know to this day I don't think there's been an accounting of where that money went. That was called the Louisiana marine resources conservation. Fund. So now these -- Louisiana. Given that our conservation fund has been rated. Given at the rigs to reef was rated an attempted raids to divert that money which supposedly was given on the dedication. Now they're coming back to the fisherman saying. We want you to support. This increasing -- fishing license it's gonna go into a newly created funded and will be used for the purpose. Of promoting in in -- better managing the saltwater recreational fisheries now my question is. Is there enough trust now. Among the fishermen that they will support it is in put and he's basically a self imposed tax on themselves. There's nobody else's pain and you're not efficient in salt water you don't you're not affected by this but if you are. You willing to pay this increase. That's the major question here to talk -- about it is Randy Pacino Louisiana wildlife and fisheries assistant secretary Randi are you done and it. Pretty good pretty good to this bill. We're talking about today a house built an 82 by represented a Stewart bishop. Would not take the fishing license currently my mom way to map the fifteen dollars to about twenty to fifty years that right. Tell me if in fact -- passes what will happen to that money -- is in the big is it in the bill or is it up to the department to. Use it at their discretion how is the money going to be. Funded kept four and then you know one of the expenses. Well I think that the mechanism. -- the bill puts the money and deposit the money in the conservation -- The conservation on. Is protected by the state constitution. So it cannot be swept. All. I heard a little bit of intro about the whole thing you know there's a cork with ought to Fisher REIT trust on where the actual monies deposited in the state treasury. Although the work conservation on his bench and all its you know dependent on what -- of the French use it on some some believe. It's not protected and some believe it is protected. In the senate aisle on. Pass the bill last year that would clear up that in in in and have the wording right so that it would be protected. In by the constitution in the conservation fund and I think that goes the popular vote in November but that this bill. All clearly -- in the conservation on conservation and well protected now what exactly would the money be used for. Well you know that bulb fishery management is is is basically the to maintain that the biologists do. Fisheries biologists in its history. Independent and fishing deepened the clearly ones dependent all the fishery in the noble and independent of the future for example -- -- independent data. If our -- -- -- -- and trolls and taken samples -- your bones out of these regional national looking at this from a confidential stuff that we use to manage fisheries but fisheries. Independent. If you're dependant -- depend on the entries so it's on the commercial side it's stuff like on -- the -- trip ticket program in the commercial landings program. It's actual data that we -- it directly from the picture on the recreational side it's predominantly on. As a critical service. Now. If you're familiar. Well you know that's when you ought to dock and and and you comic tradition and so -- -- in tropic test today and we measurements were stopped so that program has been. Traditionally funded by the it's called east calmer that's called -- marine recreational intercept program. It is in and they pay the state to do that programs for their needs -- -- or. -- -- All annual recreational fish landings. So when you start to look at those fish -- -- Louisiana. Is that the -- is much stronger and -- is not enough data points. Eric around those numbers aren't very good in May be grouped with notebook and out for certain species but clearly now with the state. So if -- -- -- last year we we went ahead -- data. Kind of a test study on -- -- creel surveys of real time survey which uses successful. At the same time we developed. We took -- -- and we said hey guys. If we could do this settlement that we can do this ourselves what we do to make. Amber are better if it Louisiana's needs -- -- -- -- for decades. All -- we can look at. Not only statewide. Landings that would have good confidence surrounding good precision but actually base and slide. For example -- we have a different regulations were -- future -- as opposed to rest of the states so we wanted to regulate the body's awarded differently from each other. Based on try to -- -- for other sheep had numbers we would need that better resolution we've been back -- no to give us. Everything we need to do to change a program to guess that point we would pay for the difference if they just pull aside will continue to do their program and that they just never would. They just put a soft -- So -- this year in January the department announced that he's no longer could participate in them -- is gonna move forward with Louisiana creole. And we're gonna do it ourselves what's. How would need to be done what's best -- Louisiana to allow us to manage the fisheries which as we -- correctly. So and so how the deal came about was home you know the department. The department actually will no longer receive half million dollars in funding for that -- program. All of the federal program. We didn't we gonna run a rural program and that we would just you know we felt it was the right thing to do we had to do that we which is gonna move funds around internally. Well to make the program work. And CAV. All had been talking on an awful red snapper stamp or different types of -- stamps. -- for ways to help the department on some of these cost stay in different states they do that in California they have. Well prosecute species but now -- bouncy bass sea bass -- there. And and I think that's with a concert came from and they and so they -- they start talking to us about potentially bill. To help defray some of our research calls home. In the form of a stamp or in in this case they went with the fee increase console war license. So would be dedicated to programs like -- -- a lot of rent. Hold on to second I got to take a break we'll come back -- -- pick it up right where you left off when talking with. -- -- Louisiana wildlife and fisheries assistant secretary. And asking you are you willing to support height in your salt water fishing license to improve. The management of the species will be right back listening to the think tank on -- bureau. And we're talking with Randy Pacino Louisiana Wallace and fisheries assistant secretary. There's a bill that would change the cost of fishing in salt water in Louisiana from present fifteen dollars to 2250. We're asking you are you willing to pay that extra money to do it that's at WW all dot com look for a pretty opinion poll question. Our Randi before we it would go on had a couple of people texting and wanting to know will this affect the senior license in the lifetime license I would not think it would wouldn't. On -- about to my knowledge it is exclusive to the resident soul more -- Just strictly the recreational so that's correct I'm thinking this is gonna produce somewhere around two million dollars annually. What would -- be able to expect for their investment should they support that is. Well it. I think that you know -- what like us and we started do and go home the quota monitoring and Louisiana creole as we rolled out we've been getting some just. Great tremendous feedback from the recreational anglers were talking about they feel they feel very confident that -- More than ever before they collected documents biologists airtalk and talk about what they call it -- fish and act and that's been given a lot of confidence. As opposed to when the federal system was in place. All they've never seen anybody into view home but yet that data was making all the management decisions for them. All it'll also allow like accept earlier while the department to. Home managed. Managed fisheries -- the more specific location instead of broad and statewide assessments when you know like apology train vendors. Eric Terry terrible. Lake cap issues -- Fisheries all pretty unique in themselves that we can -- sold in in in in in our assessment that looks in these areas a little bit differently. On the looks at him uniquely and and perhaps have management tools in place whether it's real loss size limits. Specific to that region instead of a statewide regulations that maybe doesn't make sense for every part of the state. Randy we got to break the news here thanks for joining us and I'll look forward to talking with the tomorrow got -- scheduled tomorrow shall talk about that very generous federal eleven day. Snapped a season for the gulf and maybe we can visit on this issue a little bit longer. -- -- -- It seems like it thanks again rented rented Pacino Louisiana department -- and issues we come back after the news David crests on executive director of Louisiana chapter of CCA. Is gonna explain why his organization think she should be in favor -- also like to hear commute it to 60187. -- Or toll free 866889087. Is of some of -- Marty done. Shoot me attacks yay or nay on the raising the fishing license at 87870. Will be right back. And this morning were thinking about should we pay more to fish all watery in Louisiana with thinking about that because a status thinking about doing exactly that hiking the three up from present fifteen dollar total cost to 2250. We would then become the second highest state in the gulf there to -- we just spoke with Louisiana department Wallace and fisheries. Assistant secretary Randy policy and I was explaining about how the money would be used -- you also touched on them protection of that from being rated. And joining us now is David -- on from Louisiana chapter in the coastal conservation association to discuss it David thanks for joining us and people really been waiting to hear what CC has CCA has to say on the issues you David I'm getting a bunch of text in. And I got to tell you the trust level of government wildlife and fisheries the governor with regarding dedicated funds is not real good right now and they are looking. From people like CC eight to assure them -- you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this money is going to be spent that is no loopholes created. I personally think for some it's an economic thing but I personally believe that this is more a matter of trust in money. If people trust I don't think they feel like it's a lot of money disband the with the standard again. But again -- -- be able to trust of people who were entrusted with their money what says CCA. Well -- well I don't doubt that debate with it thanks for having me. I'll tell you. Unequivocally PGA would not before this bill if we do not believe that it was as our as protected as it possibly could be. From any sort of -- by by state government so personal knowledge but bet on the table we thought horrible horrible we would not before. And so. I'll also -- dog. -- There are lots of all sorts of government that. That are broken -- our state government that pretty good job we think art department of wildlife and fishery is the best in the country. Are we pray that. This particular governor in this particular demonstration of wildlife treasury. Do a better job when it comes to our. And anybody in America and so where and when we have discussions that and they make it clear that. You know that -- increased funding could help them implement. The country that data collection science space management program for what we think is the country's. History. So it does -- the best data collection site space. We trust so. Bad news. A mouthful to say that we are very confident that this that these dollars are turning it looked at this. Etc. That these dollars will be protected. And made all our. Different than our treasury trust bought dollars and other ones that have been swept -- Is -- something concrete some hard -- some language in there that is already passed Muster from attorneys and they say that absolutely you're right this money is truly dedicated it's not a dedication it can be circumvented and used for other purposes. Well. There it's actually create an account. Inside the conservation bonds which are not. Stuck in the state treasury and and -- in the conservation fund. If he creates -- out and yeah. Funded. Account escape -- and -- vote back up we got salt water conservation on. But it would help inside conservation on. Which makes this as ironclad. A protected under it is as -- at all possible or state government now I'll be -- Our attorneys there is one possible hopeful that -- a year. Actually Brett could take place but it's worked for maximum 15%. And it's -- and it's only. Left no written by. When you vote to wildlife and fisheries having short that there will be nothing left and that's gone because there used every nickel that. Com on on the docks and it entered creel surveys so. All those things considered -- we have all compliments that there's these Boller will be used exactly what they're being. Promised and and that that it will not be swept. -- Okay -- CA's putting their reputation aligned with the by the way that fund is called the saltwater fish research and conservation fund. Now when I spoke to yesterday you also mentioned that there was kind of a sunset -- -- -- if there and kind of a get out of this thing if it doesn't work right clause in the law. Yeah actually -- Spoke a little bit yesterday dot it is it is something we've discussed -- with. Represented bishop we probably will ask him to add that as a as a lot shortage. Right this second it's not and there are but. What we'd like to see happening is before that goes to committee. Actually I would like to see page on it a sunset provision put. That would give them three years of this program this increase speed and it after three years. These you know we realized that this isn't quite doing what we expected or -- or whatever reason. We get to but the being increase well. Will no longer exist and will pay off into the sunset which is where the where the term comes from so. We hope to add that provision. -- as a -- almost all that everybody would be in paper that so. I think it almost all -- bill moves forward you'll see a sunset provision collided. And and and so I don't know that we would. You know we would be excited about it it did not have that if it's not doing are exactly what it's promised to do it. While Austin it was certainly would put some of my fears at rest. They wouldn't be right back Michael and -- bill will take your call will also get a lot of text in and as far as are ready opinion poll question -- you willing to pay this. -- Louisiana 83%. Saying no 17%. Saying yes I believe it's a matter of trust. And not economics will be right back to listen to the think tank on WW well. By checking up ready opinion poll question are you willing to -- -- 136%. More efficient Louisiana sounds real big when put in percentages but it's actually going from fifteen dollars to 2250. Is it worth that what do you think now right now 82% are opposed 18% to four times I've been saying. I believe this to be a question of trust in government more so than the economics of re in your pocket and a few dollars more. The better salt -- -- let's go to Michael in Huntsville Michael thank you for you call your own David press off from coastal conservation association. You don't going to be my name is Marc sound. The -- invasion -- to. About last several years ago. And it's it's. If I agree with. Well again with a bit apologist for the -- are going to be good of one year from the apologist. So you you you morning employ in addition to. Raised defeat you wanted to give you and actually 365. Days no matter and you practice -- other states do. And I got most most I would do it in the second has I have to agree -- 100% these funds -- -- stand on this proposal with legislation. Old habits as absolutely or this money be stormed mr. proliferated. Well never is a long time and we -- guaranteed political arena as you see one concern David that I have about that part about a maximum of 15% could be taken out. -- unspent money. And you think well yeah they going to be ready to spend every penny of the that's what should be done with -- handled mentally these people war for the politics and that's their boss and if they get orders to. Reserve a little bit of this and don't spend 15% of and on that point can legally be to. That's absolutely in the stories -- -- only certain money and go bankrupt. -- Rectory program. Trying to -- the problem with that program. And an active and -- in the dollar. Swept out of their 48 million dollars sitting out. It was just sitting. Target or the government to go in and realize -- -- -- Also with the court shall -- trust on. That in that -- original sweet. The state. -- countries in particular has has figured out. If we actually use some of these dollars each year it can't be so much. -- We have active -- she should stay in building shall reach functional water. Continued program offshore. It. Even despite this we so the trick is to use a lot. And recently. In the truck spot as much you record there is being used so. It was 48 dollars they're used in the trounced on in particular. This is on for the the so port operation -- will have more protection and trust on and it will be so. It is really all year notes it's or -- -- Rumble -- He used the use -- we believe I'll be. They're really away pretty state government to go after the practice week that's what we are. I actually use PGA will be right there -- dollars. To make sure they're being news. Or what may object. I'm let's go to the North Shore we have Bob O'Donnell on the line. Hey Don great name. Now. I'm glad it hit it. Well. -- Don't I don't like that there's quite enemy. -- Efficient light. Oh. You know one way to go war or airport a short while back Coker on my door. -- There -- At all. -- Politely told there -- politely. Open. For regular. Well. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Well. As a lot of things we could discuss here but you know it's article tablet. It's already been established that there is a fee for in news and in most cases. Sportsmen have always. Been on the news on the the on the stand and look if it's gonna benefit mine passion my fishing and mining I'm willing to pay for I'm not gonna go past. Of the people who don't do -- put the money up for me we've always been. In all self funded. Activity and I think that's held by a big big our commitment. -- Did that a call that. -- -- that. It. -- -- -- Don't do much. Don't. I'm sure there. -- And and it. This. That. And. All right they do got a confused look Randy first guest -- while I've been fisheries David is works for enables organizations use cocoa. A non crop conservation. Why are right David you gotta check coming we got to take RA -- will be right back after this time out is the think tank on WW well. -- David we are absolutely out of time can I get you back on an 8:30 tomorrow morning to pick up this discussion. Will give you -- call then and not talk more about the is raising the fishing license a lot of opposition out there. And I got some suggestions on what needs to be done with -- bill before it's got any chance of all the past will be doing that tomorrow morning or more outdoors. You can -- -- Randy Pacino and also David crests on from eight to nine on three W well back with more the think tank and activists.