Fishermen concerned discharge from large pipe is hurting crab fishing

Fishermen concerned discharge from large pipe is hurting crab fishing

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) -A longtime crab fisherman in Cameron Parish is raising concerns about a water discharge he says is killing his livelihood.

The State Department of Environmental quality is investigating.

Seventy-two-year old Teddy Broussard of Grand Chenier would normally be crab fishing on a day like this, but he says discharge into a canal which empties into the Mermentau River has ruined the spot where he fishes.

Broussard provided video of brown water, that looks kind of like root beer, discharging from the pipe into the canal.

“Basically, my livelihood at this moment is, it’s pretty much 85% destroyed because in the area where this water flows, my crab cages were there, and you can see in the yard here, I’ve got 60 cages that were removed. I can’t fish in there no more. It pushes the crabs out. The little crabs sometimes will come but the big crabs, they are smart enough to get out of harm’s way. They go back out to the Gulf,” said Broussard.

Broussard believes the pumping action is to drain thousands of acres of marsh so it can be used for cattle grazing and says it’s sending contamination from the marsh into the river.

"It creates a flow, it creates a little tidal activity that sweeps the bayou bottoms that might be containing dead animal carcasses, alligators, rotten vegetation, toxins from the storm, that has accumulated in the marsh that has no way else to get out of there," he said.

Instead of fishing, Broussard sits mending his crab traps, wondering what the future may bring if he cannot get back to fishing. He says his Social Security check won't pay the bills.

"Being a true Cajun, I try to be a true Cajun survivor. And try to do the best I can. I have faith in God, I pray."

Broussard says he's seen the pump run constantly, but says it's suddenly stopped.

He hopes it's a sign the situation will be corrected.

DEQ inspectors are expected to visit the site.

We’ll let you know what we find out.

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