Louisiana Cashes in its Chips with the 1995 Net Ban
Robert Fritchey

Most of Louisiana’s shoreline on the Gulf of Mexico is bordered by a half-sunk prairie that provides food and shelter for marine life and helps generate some of the nation’s most prolific fisheries.

These renewable resources are said to be held in “public trust,” which means in essence that they’re owned by everyone. And when everyone shares something valuable, there’s always somebody who thinks they’re entitled to more than anyone else.

So it was with Louisiana’s redfish, seatrout, flounder, pompano and other coastal finfish which had historically been shared by seafood consumers and recreationists until sport fishermen in the mid-1990s pressured Louisiana’s government to allocate most of these resources to themselves.

Let the Good Times Roll—with a backdrop of Louisiana’s plentiful fisheries, vanishing wetlands, and skyrocketing numbers of tourist anglers—delivers a lively blow-by-blow account of the sportsmen’s successful campaign to ban the use of most fishing nets by the state’s traditional commercial fishermen.

In addition to that reporting, three of those fishermen, in their own words, recall their experiences before, during, and after that tumultuous period.

For the first time anywhere, author Robert Fritchey begins to tally the annual loss to the public—in pounds of fish and in dollars—after Louisiana’s net ban. His Let the Good Times Roll thus serves as a cautionary tale for residents of those coastal states that are next on the sport-fishing industry’s hit list.

With 332 pages, more than 50 black & white photos and illustrations, and an extensive bibliography, Let the Good Times Roll—ISBN 978-0-0063882-9-0—retails for $17.95 (paper) from Amazon.com and better bookstores. Quantity discounts are available directly from publisher.

Let the Good Times Roll is also available as an e-book—with most photographs in color—for $9.99 from Amazon Kindle, Apple iTunes, and Barnes & Noble’s Nook Press.