Algae bloom advisory adds another setback for local fishermen

Updated: Jun. 24, 2019 at 3:35 PM CDT
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WAVELAND, Miss. (WLOX) - Fishermen in the Lakeshore area say the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality’s (MDEQ) algae bloom advisory is just another blow to their livelihood thanks to the opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway.

Jewels Gritzman is a long time Coast bait shop owner who just moved to a new location on Bayou Caddy. He says he’s got everything he needs... except bait, which he can’t get out of these waters.

"I can’t keep bait live,” Gritzman said. “The water... If I get it, I have it sent all the way from past either Cat Island or Louisiana over there near Chandeleur to get the water to keep my shrimp alive. It’s too costly. It’s terrible.”

Jewels says in his time on and near the water, from fishing booms to red tides, he's never seen anything like what's currently happening to the local fishing industry.

"This is the worst I’ve ever seen it,” Gritzman added. “I thought it was bad last year and the year before. “It’s hurting everyone on the Gulf Coast. It’s hurting my suppliers. It’s hurting me. It’s hurting my charters and most of all the tourists.”

Down the road in Waveland, you don’t see too many people out fishing since that MDEQ advisory came out about the algae.

Winfred Rials says three hours of throwing the cast net and fishing Monday amounted to nothing.

“The fishing’s been slowed down for a while,” Rials said. “We haven’t caught anything. Before that, we caught a lot."

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