Oil hurts businesses on Lake Pontchartrain

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Posted: Jul 7, 2010 6:16 PM by Rachel Frost
Updated: Jul 7, 2010 6:36 PM
Source: WBRZ

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Topics: oil, business, Lake Pontchartrain, charter fishermen, Rigolets Marina

Recreational fishermen can now fish in state waterways that have been closed because of the spill. However, the fish that are caught must be released, according to the state.

The catch and release program may give recreational fishermen and businesses an economic boost, but those who rely on Lake Pontchartrain say they feel the pinch already.

"We're fighting a monster that we can't beat. It's getting bigger and bigger, and he attacks you from all sides. He's on the surface, he's sneaking in on the bottom, you can't stop this," said Charter Boat Captain Kenny Kreeger.

Business hasn't been any better for marina owner Lester Ralph. He says no boats in the water mean no customers in his shop.

"We didn't have any warning it was coming, so it was kind of a surprise. We didn't think we would have it this quick. This pretty much put us to a grinding halt," said Ralph.

Rigolets Marina is a 10 minute boat ride from areas of Lake Pontchartrain that are open for fishing. Ralph hopes fishermen return, despite oil near his docks.

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