I fish inland waters on the Louisiana Delta, so we not only pursue bass, but reds, speckled trout and flounder also. During the '60s, '70s and 80's, a fisherman could hardly catch a 4-pound speckled trout. This was due to monofilament gillnets. I would watch them put out a couple miles of nets strung together at an inlet and when they ran them, the results were astounding. Fish of every species, and the larger ones were toast.
It took an almighty effort to ban those monofilament gill nets. Those guys got rich off of the public's resources. There are literally thousands of seafood restaurants in south Louisiana and New Orleans, and when tourists come here, they head to those places. The restaurant industry formed an association and it was a multi-year fight in the state legislature with all the money floating around trying to ban these nets ... which finally happened just over 20 years ago.
Nylon string gill nets are still allowed with a license. These fishermen are supposed to stay with those nets at all times and run them frequently. The Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries used to keep tabs on them fairly well, but with budget cuts and other financial stains, they do not now. They will make a check if called this happened this winter in the Lake Verret region here.
I don't really care for the nets, but we have to do something. We had miles of good grass hydrilla, coontail and milfoil but we have very few places with it now. When Hurricane Isaac hit my area in 2012, we had devastating fish kills. I went out to survey the extent just a few days after and was shocked at the thousands of Asian carp dead on the water. These were large carp in the 20-plus-pound range. These fish have spread in record time throughout the South and somehow we will need to deal with them. They are destructive.