Wetland Riders
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Author Robert Fritchey
Author Robert Fritchey

    NEW MOON PRESS - Wetland Riders - PART III


Mullet, pp. 221-223. A brief description of the mullet’s life history and its management. LSU scientist explains: “Larger-meshed gill nets of, say, four inches allow you to harvest only fish that have spawned at least once, possibly twice....I see this as a model example of a fishery that can be self-regulating.”
     Mullet landings more than doubled in Florida during World War II, because of rationing of meat. This fact suggests the shortsightedness of allowing recreationalists to destroy domestic food fisheries.

Debby Black, pp. 225-231. Hardworking Debby Black describes the workings of her processing plant where she prepares the mullet’s roe for export to Taiwan.

Bud Haworth, pp. 233-235. A brief sketch of a mullet fisherman and a photo of his boat.

Black Drum, pp. 237-246. Another wetland-dependent species of fish that fishermen and chefs turned to after sportsmen grabbed the red drum. A fishing trip, with a runaround gill net.

Fishing Under the Plane, pp. 247-251. Locating fish with spotter planes can increase harvest and bring down prices. The practice is banned by commercial fishermen.

Ahead of the Game on Drum, pp. 253-258. A pro-active management plan for the species is designed which allows commercial fishermen and consumers a sustainable annual quota of 3.2 million pounds.


Bucktown, An Urban Fishing Village, pp. 259-262. Fishermen from Bucktown work Lake Pontchartrain--one of the country’s largest inland lakes--and land seafood directly into New Orleans.

Frank Rando, pp. 263-271. In his own words, a Lake Pontchartrain Fisherman talks about the old days.

   Sometimes we used to take the fish down to the French Market. If we caught some fish we’d call around and ask if they wanted ‘em. Battistella or Ferrara, Christina, they all used to buy ‘em. We used to go to all of ‘em.
     Our top price was generally about, oh, anywhere from 20 to 25 cents, sometimes 28 cents a pound. Twenty-eight, 30 cents a pound, that was a really good price.
     We never had no trouble sellin’ ‘em. You could always sell redfish. People used to eat redfish, oh yeah, man. They always did serve ‘em in the restaurants…
up until they stopped it.

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