Tag Archives: Mississippi River

Asian Carp: Chinese investment and wisdom rescue Kentucky’s fisheries

As New Year 2020 nears, 62-year-old Angie Yu is marketing her fish products harder than usual. The Chinese American businesswoman views the holiday season as a prime opportunity for the delicacies to gain wider popularity.The entrepreneur prides herself on her choice of location. As the name Two Rivers Fisheries indicates, her plant sits on the confluence of two rivers-the Mississippi and its major tributary, the Ohio., After receiving carp from local fishermen, the plant processes, flash-freezes and boxes up the fish before shipping them out to destinations across the globe. >click to read< 10:15

Gulf Coast leaders form coalition to protect Mississippi Sound after devastating spillway openings

The marine life in the Mississippi Sound endured a tumultuous spring and summer this year due to freshwater from the Mississippi River flowing in at an unprecedented rate. Freshwater entered the Sound through the Bonnet Carré Spillway, a structure in Louisiana that releases water from the Mississippi River to prevent flooding in New Orleans. Never before had the spillway been opened in consecutive years, nor twice in one year; the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which operates the gates, broke both those records this year after a historic wet season across the river’s basin. >click to read< 11:38

Midwestern Farm Runoff Creates Headache For Louisiana Shrimpers

“We’re not catching no large shrimp,” said Olander, who largely blames worsening environmental conditions. “There’s no explaining this here other than it’s something’s wrong with our water.”  Olander grabs his phone to elaborate. He pulls up a picture of the Gulf water his cousin Douglas, also a fisherman, took from the deck of his boat earlier this summer.  “That’s that green slime,” he said, pointing. “ Audio, >click to read< 11:43

Mississippi to sue Army Corps of Engineers over extended opening of spillway

Mississippi’s attorney general said Thursday that he will sue the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for environmental and economic damage the state experienced after the Corps opened a spillway for two extended periods this year to protect New Orleans from flooding.,, Hood said he does not want New Orleans to flood but the Corps should better assess potential damage to Mississippi when deciding whether to open the Bonnet Carre spillway. He said if the federal government decides to open the spillway often, “they’ll have to pay for it because it’s just about put our seafood industry out of business.” >click to read< 17:11

‘It’s grim.’ After spring floods, Louisiana oyster harvest slows to a trickle

Fall is when Louisiana normally begins harvesting a torrent of oysters. This year, the torrent is barely a trickle. Restaurants have resorted to rationing. They’re reaching far beyond their normal local supply chains to get whatever boxes and sacks of oysters they can find, revising menus and tapping stockpiles of frozen product to keep fried oysters on their po-boys and seafood platters. Many in the business are calling the shortage the worst they’ve ever seen, worse than the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 or the BP oil spill disaster in 2010, both of which devastated the local industry. Photo’s  >click to read< 08:29

Shrinking the Gulf Coast dead zone part 1: Downriver, part 2: Upriver

The Ace of Trade shrimp trawler motored toward Dean Blanchard’s dock early this summer and winched its nets into storage. Blanchard’s workers, strengthened by a lifetime at sea worked shirtless in the humid summer air. It was the beginning of hurricane season, and so far 2019 had been the wettest year in U.S. history. Blanchard has been in business for 37 years, and is one of the largest shrimp suppliers in America, distributing off the barrier island of Grand Isle in the Mississippi River Delta. >Click to read part one<   >click to read part two<  11:00

The Mississippi River Devastated Fisheries This Year. Some See It As A Preview Of The Future

On a bayou in the St. Bernard Parish town of Yscloskey, George Barisich starts up his shrimp boat. “Hear that?” he says, as the diesel engine below our feet roars to a start. “That’s the sound we want to hear.” Barisich says that engine hasn’t gotten much use lately. There is no point in heading into the marsh when there aren’t any shrimp to catch. “I’m 82 percent off on my brown shrimp,” he says of this season. “Eighty two. And there’s a lot of people just as bad.” This year’s historic flooding on the Mississippi River has decimated the coast’s fisheries. >click to read< 17:48:45

More articles on sediment diversion, >click here<

Water conditions causing ‘catastrophic’ season for in-shore and near-shore shrimpers

The Bonnet Carre Spillway has been open for 100 days as of Friday and the influx of freshwater still pouring into the Mississippi Sound is taking a major toll on coast fishermen. The shrimp season opened two weeks ago but, by most accounts, the freshwater in the Mississippi Sound is making it a season to forget for those who make their living on the water.  Shrimpers are having to adjust where they drop their nets, said David Veal director of American Shrimp Processors Association. Video, >click to read< 14:56

Expanding Dead Zone in Gulf of Mexico is Causing High Anxiety Among Shrimpers

For Tran, it is an adventure. For his family, it is a trade they had known in Vietnam before they made their way to Port Arthur, Texas after the fall of Saigon in 1975. Tran and his family of shrimpers have faced many challenges created by mother nature. The latest weather-related problem in the Gulf is a giant dead zone predicted to grow to a near record in coming weeks. “It’s not good,” said Tran.,,, The dead zone is an area of ocean containing little to no oxygen. It is a phenomenon that typically peaks in the summer and dissipates in the winter. However, this summer’s dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico is predicted to be unusually large,,, Video, >click to read< 14:10

Floods in Midwest take toll on seafood in Gulf Coast area

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards have asked the federal government for a fisheries disaster declaration,,, Louisiana’s oyster harvest is 80% below average,,, “We’ve been dealing with the river since October,” said Acy J. Cooper Jr., president of the Louisiana Shrimp Association “That’s a long time it’s been high.” The die-offs are as bad in Mississippi.,, Shrimp are now in places only larger boats can reach, said Cooper. “Some of the big ones are catching a few,” he said. “The smaller boats are just catching hell.” >Video, click to read< 18:05

‘A major punch in the gut’: Midwest rains projected to create Gulf dead zone

As rain deluged the Midwest this spring, commercial fisherman Ryan Bradley knew it was only a matter of time before the disaster reached him. All that water falling on all that fertilizer-enriched farmland would soon wend its way through streams and rivers into Bradley’s fishing grounds in the Gulf of Mexico, off the Mississippi coast. The nutrient excess would cause tiny algae to burst into bloom, then die, sink, and decompose on the ocean floor. That process would suck all the oxygen from the water, turning it toxic. Fish would suffocate, or flee, leaving Bradley and his fellow fishermen with nothing to harvest. >click to read<21:12

Mississippi Gulf Coast fishermen struggling as flooding disaster wipes out marine life

The Mississippi Gulf Coast is now bearing the effects of the record rain and snowmelt that has caused major flooding throughout the Midwest this year. The influx of water that has drained into the Mississippi River and is now being diverted into the gulf coast has wreaked havoc on marine life and Mississippi’s commercial fishing industry. >Video, click to read<17:37

Fourth-generation fisherman keeps tradition alive in Wisconsin

Just as his ancestors did, Mike Valley draws his living from the Mississippi River. But the 1,000-pound catch that fills his handmade nets and homemade jon boat is not destined for wholesalers. Twice a week, Valley and a couple of his friends feverishly clean their overnight haul of carp, buffalo, catfish, perch and sturgeon, which soon will be snatched up by the enthusiastic customers of his retail store, Valley Fish and Cheese.,, >click to read<11:59

Louisiana Fisherman Talks Water Quality and Nutrient Reduction with Iowa Farmers

Nutrient runoff from Iowa agriculture is one of the leading causes of the growing “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico, an oxygen-deprived section of the Gulf, which last year was recorded to be the size of the state of New Jersey. “About 29 percent of the load coming into the Gulf originates in Iowa,” says Larry Weber, an executive associate dean professor in the University of Iowa’s College of Engineering. “If we take the Iowa portion out of the Gulf, then the nitrate load to the Gulf of Mexico would be going down. The real challenge in fixing the Gulf hypoxia starts in Iowa.” In this special edition of River to River, host Clay Masters talks with panelists about what Iowa farmers are doing, or not doing, when it comes to reducing nutrient runoff into the Mississippi River. He also speaks with Thomas Olander, Chairman of the Louisiana Shrimp Association and a fourth generation shrimper. Audio report >click to listen<10:23

Chinese business brings prosperity to fishermen on Mississippi

After less than 10-minute cruising on the Mississippi River in west Kentucky, Mark Buttler stopped his boat near a shoal and began to cast nets. He harvested 400 pounds of fish from two fishnets on this bright autumn morning. For the 62-year-old fisherman, who joined his father for fishing soon after high school graduation in the westernmost part of the U.S. state of Kentucky, the daily routine also includes selling his catch to a local business run by a Chinese entrepreneur. Before 2013, he sold his fish either to a market up north or to a seafood restaurant in Ledbetter, Kentucky. Then Angie Yu came to the City of Wickliffe in west Kentucky and opened the Two Rivers Fisheries to process fish from the Mississippi. Yu’s efforts also coincide with the U.S. government’s eagerness to remove some of the Asian carp from the river. click here to read the story 17:53

Gulf of Mexico Now Largest Dead Zone in the World, and Factory Farming Is to Blame

Nitrogen fertilizers and sewage sludge runoff from factory farms are responsible for creating an enormous dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. As fertilizer runs off farms in agricultural states like Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri and others, it enters the Mississippi River, leading to an overabundance of nutrients, including nitrogen and phosphorus, in the water.,, This, in turn, leads to the development of algal blooms, which alter the food chain and deplete oxygen, resulting in dead zones. Needless to say, the fishing industry is taking a big hit, each year getting worse than the last. The featured news report includes underwater footage that shows you just how bad the water quality has gotten. Video, click here to read the story 14:13

More Mississippi River sediment will mean more problems for Louisiana shrimpers

Louisiana’s quintessential shrimper – the independent, weather-beaten man with a small boat that’s seen better days – may be the hardest hit by two sediment diversions planned on the Mississippi River.  A new report indicates many shrimpers will need help adapting, possibly in the form of grants, subsidies and job re-training, once the diversions begin funneling fresh water and sediment into Barataria Bay and Breton Sound. The sediment is likely to alter the distribution, abundance and types of shrimp in areas where shrimpers have fished for decades. Most vulnerable will be shrimpers with small, one-boat operations who are middle-aged or older and cannot easily transition to another career, according to the report by the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, a Baton Rouge-based nonprofit group. click here to read the story 10:08

Invasive Asian carp less than 50 miles from Lake Michigan

The news is mixed as Great Lake states and the federal government continue to devote money and brainpower to stopping a potential Great Lakes ecological disaster — invasive Asian carp species making their way from the Mississippi River into Lake Michigan. First the good news: The leading edge of the mass of bighead and silver carp hasn’t made much progress lately up the Mississippi and connected rivers toward Lake Michigan. Now the bad news: The younger fish — juveniles — are moving closer, the evidence shows. And they can do more damage. “The bottom line is that the juvenile front is advancing, and made a big jump last year,” said Joel Brammeier, president and CEO of the nonprofit Alliance for the Great Lakes. “And we still don’t have a permanent solution in place that’s going to solve this problem.” Read the story here 08:59

Floating factory vessel to process Invasive Asian Carp in Tennessee

Leaping from rivers and lakes like aquatic projectiles and ravaging the food base of native fish, Asian carp are loathed by outdoors enthusiasts and state wildlife officials alike for being not just a nuisance, but a threat to boating and fishing industries worth $2.9 billion and $2.1 billion, respectively, in Tennessee. Enter Joe Gillas. He sees the invasive fish as an opportunity. Gillas’ company, Riverine Fisheries International, plans to moor a factory fishing vessel at the Port of Cates Landing, located on the Mississippi River near Tiptonville, Tennessee, about 100 miles north of Memphis. The nearly 350-foot-long boat would process Asian carp caught in the Mississippi and other rivers and lakes into food products to be exported to some 20 countries, including China and Russia. “I think there’s a good business model here,” said Gillas, 53, who was born and raised in Alaska and has fished all over the world. “I think we can do something good and make money at the same time.” Read the story here 08:35

Rare blue crab found in Mississippi River at Cape Girardeau

Missouri Department of Conservation resource scientists found an unexpected guest recently when they pulled a net during fish sampling in the Mississippi River. Southeast Missouri State University graduate student Nick Kramer, working with colleagues Wes Sleeper and Mark Hempel, pulled the net containing a male blue crab, according to a news release from the Missouri Department of Conservation.,, Read the article here 09:36

Fishermen oppose river diversions to fix Louisiana coast

save louisiana coalition Fishermen spoke out Tuesday against plans to rebuild coastal Louisiana by siphoning Mississippi River freshwater and sediment into the Bayou State’s disappearing sub-deltas. “I do not believe we have seen evidence that you’re going to build all this land, protect all these people, with these diversions,” said Clint Guidry, president of the Louisiana Shrimp Association, representing commercial shrimpers. Byron Encalade, president of the Louisiana Oystermen’s Association, said he “lived” the effects of a freshwater diversion in operation since 1991,,, Read the rest here 19:05

Sen.Vitter’s dead-zone stance is wrong, coastal experts say

The Gulf dead zone south of Louisiana and Texas was above average in size this summer, and is getting some needed attention after no recent progress in efforts to reduce it, according to coastal experts. In a Nov. 1 letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Republican Senator David Vitter, [email protected] 19:24

Big idea for rebuilding La. marshes sparks big bayou brawl

There was a time when the Mississippi carried hundreds of millions of tons of sediment a year from its sprawling drainage basin to the Gulf of Mexico. And most important here in southeast Louisiana: The river regularly overflowed, spreading nourishing silt into coastal marshes. That ended when Congress ordered the Army Corps of Engineers to wall off the river after the devastating 1927 flood. The levees strangled marshes, cutting off their sediment, and since then the state has lost 1,900 square miles of land, an area as large as Delaware [email protected]  16:45

Will river water save Louisiana’s coast or kill the marsh?

St. Mary Parish, La. — Azure Bevington, a PhD student in coastal wetlands ecology at LSU, stands in the Wax Lake Delta, a spot that did not exist when she was born in 1980.  “It’s really amazing to think about, that this is really some of the newest land in the United States, or the world,” Bevington said. [email protected]

Sediment diversions not the way to rebuild Louisiana’s coast

Without a doubt, the coast of Louisiana is disappearing at an alarming rate. Something has to be done — and quickly — to stop our shorelines from sinking into the Gulf. But are diversions the answer? More and more scientists are now looking at the Mississippi River not as a solution, but as part of the problem. Yes, these diversions will cause an enormous disruption to the lives and livelihoods of families who have fished, trawled, and dredged these areas for generations. Add in what we’re beginning to learn about the marsh-destroying power of nitrates and chemicals, and it’s harder and harder to think of the Mississippi River as a “friend” to those of us striving   to save Louisiana’s coast. [email protected]

Missouri men facing commercial fishing violations – unlawful harvest of shovelnose sturgeon on the Mississippi River

For the Daily Gate City WAPELLO – Two southeast Missouri men face 74 counts and more than $43,000 in fines and civil damages for the alleged unlawful harvest of shovelnose sturgeon on the Mississippi River in Louisa County. Robert Housman, 43, of Sikeston Mo., was charged with 35 counts of unlawful take and possession of shovelnose sturgeon and two counts of setting entanglement gear (commercial fishing nets) in a closed zone for a total of $3,671 in fines. The state also is seeking $18,000 in liquidated damages from Housman. Michael Dye, 39, of Charleston, Mo., was charged with 34 counts of unlawful take and possession of shovelnose sturgeon, two counts of setting entanglement gear (commercial fishing nets) in a closed zone and one count of no commercial fishing license for a total of $3,772.50 in fines  http://www.dailygate.com/news/article_ccca543c-1c7d-11e2-8439-0019bb2963f4.html