September 25, 2012
There are many Louisiana sportsmen who are tired of the management policies concerning size limits of largemouth bass in the southeast region of Louisiana in areas such as Lake Verret, Lake Palourde, Henderson Lake, the Atchafalaya Spillway and other tributaries in southeast Louisiana, where 14-inch size limits should be lifted. There is a large demographic of sportsmen that like to take their kids, wives and others fishing and come home with some fish to eat.
Too often we have made trips to these areas under the 14-inch minimum length rule and catch 10 or 15 fish that measure from 12 inches to 13 7⁄ 8 inches, with maybe one or two that will measure 14 inches. One or two fish will not feed many, so they are released and no one has a fish fry. We all pay the extreme prices for fuel and maintaining a boat like everyone else, but all too often a lot of money is spent on trips with little to no fish brought home because of the size limit.
You can name storm after storm that continues to kill the fish in these areas, and yet we keep starting over with the 14-inch size limit.
Hurricane Andrew in 1992 started the management madness of people thinking they can outsmart Mother Nature, but you would think that after Katrina, Rita, Gustav, and now Isaac we would accept the fact that we should go back to the way it was before Andrew, having only a creel limit (like most other state waters) and not a size limit in these areas.
We are not growing trophy bass with this program; you can count on one hand the number of reported double-digit-size bass taken in these areas every year.
In fact, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries conducted a survey of 2,000 local recreational fishermen in July 2011 and found a strong response of 37 percent in favor of decreasing or removing the size limits in the above mentioned areas.
Let’s start eating and enjoying some of these fish instead of waiting approximately every three to five years for a storm to come in and take them. I for one am tired of watching the fish float up and be wasted again and again.
American Petroleum Institute welding inspector