Louisiana is the only state in the country that allows private landowners to restrict access to motored boats on navigable waterways. As an an angler himself, Kevin Pearson recognized how restricting the ability of our state’s fishermen could negatively impact tourism and freedom of our waterways.
In 2018, Kevin Pearson’s fight for fishermen expanded by his proposed House Bill 391. Pearson now is running for Louisiana Public Service Commissioner for District 1 – a district that includes many of the Southern Louisiana communities that would have benefited from his agenda as State Representative.
To watch the news coverage on proposed H.B. 391, visit WAFB’s Louisiana sportsmen cast campaign to access private waterways.
Many organizations, such as the Louisiana B.A.S.S. Nation and the Louisiana Sportsmen’s Coalition (LaSC), joined Pearson at the state capital to participate in the discussion to encourage other lawmakers to vote for the bill.
HB 391 would have stopped private landowners from restricting boaters access through navigable waters. Many of Pearson’s constituents from St. Bernard Parish, Plaquemines Parish, St. Tammany Parish, and Jefferson Parish drove to the state capitol to voice their support for the bill.
Gene Gilland from B.A.S.S. nation, quoted by KOGT 1600 AM Radio, explained: “When the vote came to the full House of Representatives, wealthy landowners and energy companies with deep pockets and armies of lobbyists persuaded legislators from many parts of Louisiana that are not even affected by this issue to vote against the bill.” (See the full article here: Louisiana Vote on Bill 391 – KOGT 1600 AM)
Following the vote, Dale Carpenter explained on Louisiana Sportsman, “Watching this ‘quote-unquote democratic process’ today was totally mind-numbing … We were surprised by the vote. We were expecting it to be closer to 50-50,” he said Tuesday evening. “But in the last 48 hours, the land owners and oil companies did exactly what they said they were going to do: They brought in their battleships. It was probably close to 30 lobbyists for them — against two for us.” (See full article here: HB 391 Sponsored by Kevin Pearson – Louisiana Sportsman)