Wetland Riders | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Wetland Riders

  • Collection DOI:
    Principal Investigator:
    Robert Fritchey
  • The folks in the Wetland Riders collection were interviewed in the course of writing the book of that title. “Wetland Riders” was intended to help members of the commercial fishing industry and the general public understand how and why Gulf Coast states in the late 1980s and 1990s were giving exclusive access to key culinary species—such as the red drum and spotted seatrout—to the recreational fishing industry.

Interviewee Description Interviewer Date of Interview Location of Interview Affiliation Collection
William Templeton

Married to a Smith graduate, Bill fished all his life but worked some years as a contractor to earn sufficient funds. When he retired he went back to fishing. Helped pioneer trotline fishery for red drum, etc. Opposed gamefish bill in Texas and assembled extensive archives on gamefish disputes in Texas.

Robert Fritchey , Sargent, TX New Moon Press Wetland Riders
John Nixon

Interview with longliner John Nixon

Robert Fritchey Rockport, TX New Moon Press Wetland Riders
Walter Mengen

Mengden was an oilman and Republican senator in the Texas Legislature where he was one of the commercial fishermen’s staunchest defenders during 1981 gamefish fight over red drum and spotted seatrout. Interviewed over the phone in July 1993, when he was retired from the legislature.

Robert Fritchey Houston, TX New Moon Press Wetland Riders
Houston Serigny

Houston Serigny lived off the land in the South Louisiana marsh by trapping, shrimping, oystering and netting for finfish such as red and black drum and spotted seatrout. Interview was conducted at his home in Leeville, Louisiana, in 1988. His son, Houston Saucier, is also heard in interview.

Robert Fritchey Leeville, LA New Moon Press Wetland Riders
Roy Lee Yeomans

Life-long fisherman Roy Lee was born and raised in the Everglades around Everglades City. As that region was engulfed by the National Park in the 1970s, he relocated to South Louisiana where he fished for red drum, spotted seatrout, pompano, black drum, etc. Most winters he returned to Marathon, Florida, to stab net for mangrove snapper, and used a runaround gill net to harvest bluefish and Spanish mackerel. Interview was conducted in Leeville, Louisiana, in September 1992. 

Robert Fritchey Leeville, LA New Moon Press Wetland Riders
Frank and Stanley Rando

Life-long fishermen from Bucktown, a New Orleans fishing community on the south shore of Lake Pontchartrain. Interviewed in August, 1990, with son, Stanley “Bubba” Rando, also a full-time commercial fisherman.

Robert Fritchey Bucktown, LA New Moon Press Wetland Riders
Claude McCall

Claude was originally from North Carolina where he worked in radio repair. He relocated to Tampa Bay, Florida, in the 1940s, where he began to fish full time. He relocated to South Louisiana in the 1970s. Interview was conducted in Leeville, Louisiana, in February 1988.

Robert Fritchey Leeville, LA New Moon Press Wetland Riders
Octave Toups

Life-long fisherman and boatbuilder Octave Toups was born and raised on Bayou Lafourche, Louisiana, around Cut Off. He was an early developer of the “mud boat,” an inboard-powered skiff for running in shallow marshland waters where he netted red and black drum, spotted seatrout and other inshore species. Interview conducted at his home in Cut Off, Louisiana, in November 1991. 

Robert Fritchey Cut Off, LA New Moon Press Wetland Riders
Debby Black

Debby married into the Blacks, a fishing family that had relocated from Port Salerno, Florida, to South Louisiana in the late 1970s. She operated a fish house and mullet processing facility in Hopedale, LA. Interview conducted in 1989.

Robert Fritchey Hopedale, LA New Moon Press Wetland Riders
Billy Praker and James “JB” Milina

Interview with net fishermen Billy Praker and James "JB" Milina, from Galveston, Texas

Robert Fritchey Galveston, TX New Moon Press Wetland Riders

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