Wildlife and Fisheries Commission, in action taken at their
Jan. 4 meeting, adopted a notice of intent to amend the Special
Bait Dealer Permit rule to allow for the use of certain skimmer
nets. The commission intends to allow permitted bait dealers
to use two skimmer nets having an individual net frame size
not more than 12 1/2 feet measured horizontally or 12 feet
measured vertically or 17 1/3 feet measured diagonally.
regulations limit special bait dealer permittees to the use
of a single trawl not to exceed 25 feet measured along the
cork line and 33 feet along the lead line. Acting in response
to increased public demand for live bait, which has often
exceeded available bait dealer supplies, the amended rule
would allow the use of skimmer nets in the permitted bait
fishery. Several studies have cited the efficiency of skimmer
nets in harvesting shrimp resulting in a number of advantages
over traditional otter trawls
including increased survival of both target and non-target
also intends to allow permitted bait dealers to harvest live
croaker in addition to live shrimp, require applicants to
post cash bonds rather than optional surety bonds, prohibit
transfer of any shrimp or croaker taken under the permit from
one vessel to another and revise record keeping requirements.
in 1997, the Special Bait Dealer Permit Rule is intended solely
for the benefit of the recreational fishing public which desires
to use live shrimp and live croaker as bait during closed
shrimp season between the spring and fall inshore shrimp seasons.
Its purpose is to allow the uninterrupted operation of those
commercial establishments which sell live bait to the fishing
public during the spring and fall inshore shrimp seasons.
The special bait dealer permit is not intended for the direct
use of recreational fishermen, charter boats, commercial fishermen
who sell dead bait, or for any other entity which may wish
to catch bait for their own use during closed shrimp season.
persons may submit written comments relative to the proposed
rule to Martin Bourgeois, Marine Fisheries Biologist, Marine
Fisheries Division, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000
prior to Monday, March 5, 2007.