Beyond rivers, Midwestern floodwaters hurt seafood catches

Janet Mcconnaughey
Associated Press
Workers open bays of the Bonnet Carre Spillway on May 10 to divert rising water from the Mississippi River to Lake Pontchartrain, upriver from New Orleans, in Norco, La.

New Orleans – Floodwaters carried down from the Midwest are killing oysters and driving crabs, shrimp and finfish out of Louisiana and Mississippi bays and marshes to saltier waters.

So it’s a bad year for many people who make their living from the water.

Brad Robin says his family controls about 10,000 acres of oyster leases in Louisiana. He says that on a 10-point scale, “we are 9-and-a-half destroyed.”

Mississippi’s governor has asked the federal government for a fisheries disaster declaration . Louisiana Wildllife and Fisheries Secretary Jack Montoucet says Gov. John Bel Edwards is preparing a similar request. Both states have seen oyster harvests plummet by 80 percent, and shrimp landings are nearly as bad.