CAMERON, LA (KPLC) -Here in what they call the east fork in Cameron Parish all seems well with man and nature. A boat moves north in the channel toward Calcasieu Lake fishing for shrimp as he goes. Close by families of dolphins fish and play. And the shore birds are here as usual. It's a scene in no way disrupted by the ominous oil gushing in Gulf waters east of here.
Shrimpers here are thankful wildlife agencies adjusted seasons and worked to help them capitalize on opportunities to make some money. The inland waters of Calcasieu Lake and the channel are bountiful and the shrimp are far from the oil causing problems for others. Shrimper Phillip Dyson has fished for more than three decades. "Most of our shrimp from May to November is caught in inland waters," explains Dyson.
Shrimpers and elected officials want consumers to know they should have no worries about seafood here. Shrimpers like Dyson hope people will enjoy the shrimp with confidence. He says,"Eat em. Eat all you want and I believe the shrimp will be safe and if any contamination gets close they're gonna shut it down. It's lookin' pretty good this year. Price is up, gotta good price on the shrimp and usually about the end of May we get into our brown shrimp season. And the brown shrimp are starting to look real good."
Police jury president Kirk Burleigh agrees. "The shrimp and the crabs that are available and the sports fishermen, in Southwest Louisiana, Cameron Parish, is not contaminated with oil. They're very edible. The quality is really superb. So we just want to let the people know we do have good quality seafood available for the public down here in the Cameron area."
And if the oil does get this far west, Burleigh says they are working hard to protect the area. "We're working every day. We have the ideas, we have our game plan, everybody's aware of it as a parish. So we will protect this area to the best of our ability and get things done."
And so, for now shrimpers and recreational boaters as well enjoy the sun and the water and the natural bounty that is so much a part of life here.