In 1977, CCA was organized after people from Texas and Louisiana were recognizing a sharp difference in fishing for fish like redfish. Since then it has grown to 206 chapters in 17 states.
The CCA’s inception plan was simple, making sure there was fairness in fishing resources for all. To broad stroke it, CCA is dedicated to the conservation of all marine resources.
Two of the local chapter’s members–Russell Zaunbrecher and Rotarian Dr. Craig Brammer–spoke to the club Tuesday about the non-profit’s origins and the work it has done and is pushing for now.
The Louisiana chapter (CCA Louisiana) is dedicated to Louisiana’s marine resources and was founded in 1983 as GCCA. It’s first big victory came in the regards to the redfish, but it took a couple of years to get enough footing behind the group.
“It took a few years to get people on board with the idea, especially with the gill net ban,” said Brammer.
In 1986, as the men explained, commercial harvest of adult redfish in the federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico was halted. Two years later, temporary gamefish status for redfish was won.
In 1991, an amendment was added to the Louisiana constitution guaranteeing funds to preserve wetlands and commission management of speckled trout was established, both in large part due to the CCA.
In 1995, however, came its biggest play, the outlawing of most gill nets and winning permanent gamefish status for redfish. That same year the group intervened in a state lawsuit challenging the gill net ban; they did the same in 1996 with a federal lawsuit.
Their work has not stopped there, tough as the men stated. The group has seen to the building of artificial reefs and help establish one of the biggest changes as it pertains to artificial reefs.
Following Hurricane Katrina, CCA Louisiana teamed with lobbyists to see to the reusing of damaged concrete. The damaged concrete bridges needing to be rebuilt from the monster storm was allowed to be used to create two large artificial reefs in Lake Pontchatrain. That project part of the I-10 Twin Span project began in 2010.
It is the first project of its kind in the state to see recycled debris material to be reused. The project is ongoing.
Not resting on laurels, floating islands in the marshes have also been created with help from the CCA. The group spearheaded the Floating Islands Project in Terrebonne Parish with about 1,500 linear feet of the islands were installed using two types of marsh grass to create habitat component.
Besides big projects like those, though, CCA Louisiana has several minor projects that it is very proud of as Brammer and Zaunbrecher touted.
For starters, it has developed the CCA Louisiana/4-H Clubs Youth Program which rings the positive message of CCA and coastal conservationto thousands of youth across Louisiana. It’s next seminar is planned for December of this year.
To learn more about CCA Louisiana, you can visit their website at www.CCALouisiana.com, which also features information on how to join CCA.