Please support House Bill 391

The Louisiana Sportsmen’s Coalition asks you to urge Legislators to support House Bill 391.

This is a great opportunity to email and call Legislators and demand they support public water access.

HB 391 would guarantee public access to certain tidally-influenced waters. LaSC representatives are working through the proper channels and requesting that some adjustments be made to the bill. Even in its current form, HB 391 is a massive step in the right direction for the thousands of anglers and tourists who recreate on our waters. It is also an amazing opportunity for LaSC members and supporters to let their voices be heard.

This bill is the opportunity we've been waiting for.


Email Legislators quickly and easily here. You can email individual Legislators, all Reps/Sens or all members of the House Committee on Civil Law and Procedure with one click of the mouse.

The 2018 Regular Session begins Monday, and HB 391 will begin in the House Committee on Civil Law and Procedure. When it comes time for the Committee to hear the bill, expect a loud call-to-action from LaSC that will include requesting a strong presence at the State Capitol.

This Committee Hearing will be the first step of an on-going process. Therefore, there will be more steps that come later in this Legislative process, and your vocal participation during all of these steps is vital. 

Click here to read HB 391 in its entirety.

LaSC has put in lots of work behind the scenes to reach a point where the Louisiana Legislature can debate this issue in a public forum, and we thank Rep. Kevin Pearson for sponsoring this important bill.

Video Roundtable: Louisiana: Sportsman’s Paradise or Problem?

For decades Louisiana has proclaimed itself as the “Sportsman’s Paradise.” But for today’s hunters, changes to Louisiana’s landscape have caused a decline in the quality of the state’s deer habitat and smaller game. For coastal fishermen, private property rights often unduly restrict access to waters that are considered public in any other state.

Watch the full video.

Touring Louisiana's threats to public access

About a month ago I was talking with Land Tawney, BHA’s president and CEO, when he asked me what I knew about public land issues in Louisiana.

Admittedly I didn't know a lot. I mentioned that Louisiana's system of law is based on the Napoleonic Code and the rest of the states are grounded in English Common Law – causing some legal confusion. And I’d heard about some canals owned by oil companies being gated up and public access eliminated.

Read the full story.

Petition: Stop the privitazation of public waters in Louisiana

BHA’s recently established Southeast chapter is fighting for sportsmen and public access in the wake of the pending privatization of Catahoula, the largest natural freshwater lake in Louisiana and one frequented by successive generations of Bayou State hunters. Current debate centers on whether the lake should be classified as a non-navigable river, in which case access to the land beneath and water above the lake could be posted by neighboring private landowners. In July, a district court ruled that Catahoula Lake is technically a river, sparking a potentially precedent-setting legal argument whose resolution could take months or years.

View and sign the petition.

Access in Louisiana: public or private?

Kevin Gaubert is president of the Louisiana B.A.S.S. Nation, so he gets regular reports from anglers about the hottest fishing spots and the latest lures to catch the biggest bass in the Bayou State.

Gaubert is also a property owner in south Louisiana. He lives in Luling, which is a tiny town tucked beside the Mississippi River only a few miles west of Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. It may sound cliché, but he’s a proud American, and he values his right to live on his own property and do with it pretty much what he pleases.

These days, Gaubert is hearing as much about property rights as he is about bass fishing, and that’s cause for alarm, he said.

Read the full story.

Land ownership, fisherman's rights creates blur, gray area

One of the nation’s most prestigious sport fishing leagues has placed Louisiana waters off limits for competitors in one of its most high-profile events, claiming that the state’s property and trespassing statutes create too much confusion and place anglers at risk.

Trip Weldon, tournament director for the Bass Anglers Sportsmen’s Society, issued a directive earlier this month that says participants in the multi-million-dollar 2018 Bassmaster Elite competition on the Sabine River, which marks the Bayou State’s western border with Texas, will have to stay on the Texas side for their catches to be eligible.

Read the full story.

OUR VIEW: Troubled waters need a fix and fast

Today’s issue of The Times includes coverage of a simple problem whose solutions appear complex.

Only in Louisiana can a private company or individual lay private claim to a waterway that cannot be fenced, gated or otherwise enclosed, and if that wasn’t bad enough, be under no requirement to post these waters so that anyone happening into them can be charged with trespassing, during and even after the fact.

Read the full story.

LaSC Press Release: BASS Tournaments Leaving Coastal Louisiana Continues Negative Trend for Sportsmen

Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (BASS) announcement that it would no longer allow participants in the Bassmaster Elite Sabine River Tournament, hosted in nearby Orange, Texas, to fish in Louisiana waters. Additionally, BASS declared in the announcement it would no longer hold tournaments on the Atchafalaya Basin because “Louisiana’s unusual laws governing access to navigable waters have created conflict and confusion among anglers.” According to BASS director of event and tourism partnerships Michael Mulone, local economies get a $2.5 million impact from each Elite Series tournament and a $2.1 million impact from each Open Series event.

Read the full press release.

BASS prohibition must spur change to Louisiana's ridiculous water-access policy

The Louisiana Office of Tourism really needs to look at some new slogans for ads aired in other states hoping to attract tourists and their fat wallets here. Clearly, "Louisiana: the Sportsman's Paradise" no longer applies.

Here are some suggestions:

"Louisiana: Fish here, and get a ticket suitable for framing."

"Louisiana: Liberal limits for landowners."

"Fish Louisiana: Have you ever seen the inside of a jail cell?"

Read the full story.

Louisiana's trespass laws lock anglers out of most coastal marshes

Louisiana is known as the Sportsman's Paradise, and its a moniker that's well-deserved. Natives have heard all their lives about unfettered coastal subsidence that gobbles our marshes, turning them from fish nurseries and bird rookeries into vast, open-water nothingness. That might lead some to believe there's not much left along the tattered sole of America's boot.

Read the full story.

Public access to tidal waters in jeopardy

Louisiana’s beloved fishing areas are known worldwide as the Sportsman’s Paradise.

More and more, however, this paradise is becoming accessible to only a select few sportsmen. This is because Louisiana is the only state in America that allows property owners to claim ownership of waters that ebb and flow with the tide. You may be in awe at the absurdity of the notion of owning tidally-influenced water. Or you may be nodding your head, having been told you were trespassing while fishing somewhere yourself.

Read the full story.

Redfish tournament series inks deal gaining access to waters deemed private

The Elite Redfish Series announced last week it had reached agreement with a landowner in Southwest Louisiana to provide access to tidal water the landowner says is private. The series said in a Facebook post competitors in this weekend's Elite Redfish Classic Kick-Off would be granted limited access to the tract, but anglers fighting for access rights throughout the Louisiana coast say the move sets a dangerous precedent.

Read the full story.

Petition: To allow all Louisiana Fisherman access to all tidal waters in the state of Louisiana

Louisiana fisherman are losing fishing access in marshes across Louisiana due to land owners who are stopping anglers from accessing tidal waters that go through their property. Land ownership should constitute ownership of land and not the water that flows in and out and over it. We want to have the "if it floats it boats" policy enacted in the State of Louisiana.This policy is in line with every other state in the United States.We believe that if water is not landlocked, then the water should be accessible by licensed Louisiana Anglers. We believe that our state representatives should represent the will of the majority and not just a select few. It's time Louisiana to catch up to the rest of the nation on this issue and change the confusing, antiquated law that is in place.

View and sign the petition.