Acadiana lawmaker Jack Montoucet has been appointed secretary of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries by Gov. John Bel Edwards, the USA Today Network of Louisiana reports.
“Jack Montoucet is a friend and a true Louisianian,” Edwards says in a statement. “As a businessman, he understands the complex nature of running an organization such as wildlife and fisheries, and as an alligator farmer in Acadiana, he shares my belief that nothing should get in the way of Louisiana remaining the Sportsman’s Paradise.”
Montoucet, 69, represents District 42 in the statehouse—which includes Acadia and Lafayette parishes—and is a fierce ally of Edwards in the House.
He officially takes over Jan. 16, replacing former Secretary Charlie Melancon, who was forced out by the administration. Patrick Banks, assistant secretary of the office of fisheries, will serve as interim secretary until then.
Melancon, a former congressman, clashed with recreational fishermen and U.S. Rep. Garret Graves, R-Baton Rouge, over fisheries management since taking over as secretary. He also had a fractious relationship with some lawmakers for changes within the agency.