LDWF hosting Free Fishing Weekend

Posted at 11:57 PM, Jun 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-08 00:57:42-04

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is allowing people to fish without a license this weekend. 

Tucker Friedman, the owner of Atchafalaya Basin Landing in Henderson, says he is hoping more funds will be applied to conservation and restoration in the coast.

The Atchafalaya Basin is home to more than 100 species of fish, making the swamp a desirable spot for fishers.

"People want to come to Louisiana. Tourism is big, and the swamps are a big thing. I mean, we share the environment, and we share the waters, and somebody has to pay for the maintenance of it and the upkeep of the wildlife," said Friedman.

The business owner hopes the money from those licenses go towards conservation efforts and keeping out invasive species that hurt the natural beauty.

"Invasive vegetation is a problem. I would like to see more money being applied to the environmental and biological end of the wildlife and fisheries. You know, they need funds to be able to do research and implement the projects. And, it’s not just a local thing here; it’s a statewide issue," said Friedman. 

He is on the swamp every day, witnessing first hand how it has changed through the years.

"We’re losing our deep water very fast, and the influx of really muddy, dirty water in the springtime without the ability for it to flow through here, it just deposits in here, and it’s backfilling a lot of what was once the deepest and swiftest river in the world," said Friedman. 

With the exception of Free Fishing Weekend, anglers 16 and older must possess a state fishing license when fishing in any Louisiana public waters. Those licenses can be purchased here.  

If you want to rev up the boat engine this weekend, you can test the Louisiana waters for free.

"The free fishing thing would be great for anyone who doesn’t usually fish, and they want to get out and try it," suggested Friedman. 

Wildlife and Fisheries says one-hundred percent of the proceeds from the licenses will go to habitat conservation and enforcement.