On August 29th 2021, the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Ida swept through Louisiana and continued on to the Northeast United States leaving a wake of devastation in its path. The damages to infrastructure are second only to Katrina and the damages to the fishing community are rivaling Katrina, if not worse. On September 7th 2021, AFTCO donated 100% of profits from online purchases on AFTCO.com to the WARF relief fund, which totaled over $41,000; but help is still needed.
The recovery for local businesses and the angling community can take months or even years. We understand the challenges this poses to charter captains and guides, whose livelihood depends on the water. Our highest priority is offering support to our fishing communities affected by Ida.
There are many ways you can help efforts in the southeast as they continue to rebuild infrastructure and get their communities back up and running. Three things you can do are:
1. Book fishing trips with Southern Louisiana charter guides. Supporting the local fishing guides can help ensure they can continue their operations. Consider even, offering to pay in advance, since the funds are critical for some guide operations to rebuild infrastructure and get back on their feet. Here is a resource to find Captains in Louisiana.
2. Donations to WARF for long-term support of these fisheries. This fund was founded by IGFA and Costa Sunglasses to address the catastrophic impact that natural disasters have on captains, guides, crews and outfitters who depend on recreational fishing for their livelihood.
3. Donations to American Red Cross for short-term help with on-the-ground groups. These groups are providing immediate assistance to disaster relief efforts.
Even though the road is long to recovery, Louisiana always finds a way to come back bigger and better. Anyone who visits Louisiana, especially those who visit Venice at the End of the World, knows this and knows how special this place can be.
If you want to read about Venice and the AFTCO teams experience there, read our blog Welcome to the End of the World, where you can read about a magical place for all anglers, and while you're at it, you can check out some tips and how-tos from one of the best guide operations that Louisiana has to offer, Journey South Outfitters.