Last Friday, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission adopted a notice of intent that would remove the 14” minimum length limit on black bass in the Atchafalaya Basin, Henderson Lake and Lake Verret Complex. LDWF biologists made this recommendation based both on results of an LDWF study and angler input.
As a temporary transition measure, LDWF staff recommends a reduction in daily creel limit from 10 to 7 bass for a two-year period. After the two years, black bass regulations on these waterbodies would be consistent with statewide regulations – no length limit with a 10 fish daily creel.
An extensive, three-year study examined the effectiveness of the regulation as a management tool. Findings show the Atchafalaya Basin largemouth bass population does not exhibit necessary criteria for which a 14” minimum length limit would produce larger bass. The study indicates that the basin bass population is more heavily influenced by environmental factors, including water fluctuation and the effects of tropical storms, rather than angler harvest.
Results of the study were distributed throughout various media outlets including print, radio and television, and public opinion was requested. Over 450 responses were received, and Atchafalaya Basin anglers were in agreement with the LDWF study and approval of removing the 14” minimum length for bass by an overwhelming margin of 91 percent.
To view the full notice of intent, please visit here. Interested persons may submit written comments relative to the proposed rule by March 31, 2013, to Mike Wood, Office of Fisheries, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000 or via email at email@example.com.