The Catch and Cook program’s regulations has caused many local restaurants to question its validity in Louisiana.
The program was established by 2014 Louisiana legislation, and would allow recreational anglers to bring their catch into participating restaurants and have a chef cook it for them.
Daryl Carpenter of the Louisiana Charter Boat Association, told reporters, many Louisiana fishing lodges could be hurt by the Catch and Cook program, as there are strict stipulations they have to follow to participate.
Carpenter spoke to the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission arguing the regulations for the restaurants are too meticulous.
He cited a specific example about how the restaurants must, “receive only fish that have been cleaned, filleted, placed in clean, food-grade, single-service packaging and properly refrigerated.”
Another regulation would only allow restaurants to keep fish for four hours, when most fishing trips last several days.
Rob Bourgeois from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) told the commission it will return in January with details about the Catch and Cook program for an up-or-down vote.
Carpenter has plans to meet with the bill’s author, Senator Bret Allain, and attempt to make adjustments and address his organization’s concerns. The bills requires LDWF to work with the Department of Health and Hospitals to better address the details of the Catch and Cook program, and the commission will get final approval.