State moves on Atchafalaya bass, new deer-hunting areas
By Joe Macaluso
Advocate Outdoors writer
State wildlife managers and state fisheries biologists made changes to vital areas used by most south Louisiana deer hunters and bass fishermen that could take effect later this year.
Noting dramatic changes to the habitat, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries' State Deer Study leader Scott Durham presented the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission with a new deer-huting areas map at Thursday's commission meeting in Baton Rouge.
The changes add new deer hunting areas, Areas 9 and 10, and makes dramatic changes to the State Deer Areas 1, 4, 6 and 7 in the process.
The sweeping changes, if approved, will reintroduce bucks-only hunting to most of the south-central and southeastern parishes, and bring back either-sex hunting periods, brief periods during a season when hunters are allowed to take both male and female whitetail deer.
For bass fishermen, the LDWF's Inland Fisheries Section moved to change the 20-year-old regulations on black bass in the Atchafalaya Basin, the Lake Verret-Belle River area and Lake Fausse Pointe to allow for a creel limit of seven bass per day per angler with no size limits.
A 14-inch minimum size and a 10-bass-per-day creel limit have been posted in these three areas since Hurricane Andrew devastated fish stocks in 1992.
Both the deer and bass-fishing issues have a 120-day comment period.
The new deer hunting areas, if approved, will take effect for the 2013-2014 hunting seasons, while the new Atchafalaya-area bass regulations will not become a regulation until sometime in late June.