I’m hopeful everyone had many reasons to be thankful Thursday despite the pressing (or oft-depressing) issues of the day.
If you can check the box on love for family and friends, good health and unbridled optimism that’s a great start going into the Christmas holiday period. Remember, ‘tis the season: “Peace on earth, good will toward men.”
At least one uplifting story from this past week should warm the heart of outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen across the Teche Area, Acadiana and the rest of the Sportsman’s Paradise. Those of us who have been victims of a punishing hurricane (any of the big ones since and including Hurricane Andrew in 1992) can appreciate this story from the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
The LDWF and Our Lady of the Isle Catholic Church in Grand Isle joined forces this past week to provide Thanksgiving Day meals to residents in the coastal town, most who are recovering from Hurricane Ida. Grand Isle took a major hit from the Category 4 storm that hit the coast Aug. 29 near Port Fourchon in lower Lafourche Parish.
Some of our area residents who owned camps there experienced the storm that caused catastrophic damage from wind and storm surge to some degree. They and others have been picking up the pieces and rebuilding ever since.
On Thursday, boxed meals were made available from 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. for people there to pick up to-go style or dine in at the church, according to a prepared statement from LDWF. They were able to eat turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, green beans, cranberries and bread pudding.
The church has supplied meals on Saturdays and Sundays of the duration of the recovery process, the report said. The Rev. Mark Toups, vicar general and pastor of the church in Grand Isle, said recently he was unsure if the church would be able to provide a holiday meal to the community.
During a recent visit to Grand Isle, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards got in touch with LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet and they arrived at a solution to feed the people on the island.
Edwards said, I’m grateful to Father Toups and Secretary Montoucet for working together to help provide a Thanksgiving meal to the community. This has been a difficult year, and the people of Grand Isle are fighting hard to return to some sense of normalcy. I know this effort will be another step toward that goal. Seeing the community come together this way reminds us that we have many reasons to give thanks. Donna (Donna Hutta Edwards, his wife) and I pray that everyone has a safe and blessed holiday.”
“I am glad that LDWF can be part of this heartfelt offering that Father Toups wanted to share with the residents of Grand Isle,” Montoucet said.
Toups said, “I am happy that the governor felt it in his heart to make this happen.”
The extended recreational red snapper season is winding down. Teche Area offshore boats have taken advantage of the season that was reopened Sept. 24 in federal and state waters off Louisiana.
The state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries reported Wednesday that based on LA Creel, the LDWF’s near real-time landings data collection program, 702,975 pounds, or 86 percent, of the state’s 2021 annual private recreational allocation of 816,439 pounds has been harvested as of Wednesday.
Louisiana’s extended season, which includes seven days a week (rather than just weekends) and four red snapper per person in the daily bag limit, is scheduled to close Dec. 31 or whenever recreational landings approach or reach the state’s allocation.
When the red snapper season closes, there’s no reason to dock the big boat for the rest of the summer. Next week we’ll take a look at some red-hot offshore fishing for another species that usually takes place during the winter months December through February.
DON SHOOPMAN is outdoors editor of The Daily Iberian.