The Wildlife and Fisheries Commission convenes at 9:30 a.m. Thursday with an information item outlining Louisiana’s “Gulfward Boundary” preceding an agenda item entitled, “To hear and consider a Notice of Intent on Red Snapper Regulations.”
During April’s meeting, the seven-member commission considered whether to take a vote on moving the state into noncompliance for state waters during upcoming federally mandated recreational red snapper season.
Pecan Island commission member Billy Broussard was the most vocal opponent of the restrictive recreational red snapper season, which could be shortened to as few as 30 days this year with federal fisheries managers retaining a 16-inch minimum size and two-per-recreational angler-per day limits.
Broussard was among as many as 10 speaking against these restrictions when he said recreational fishermen are seeing more and larger red snapper in each of the past three years in Louisiana’s offshore waters.
The commission also will follow a long-established custom of hearing recommendations from state marine biologists for opening dates then voting on those dates for the state three inshore shrimp zones.
Other notable agenda items include continuing emergency commercial fishery closures because of 2-year-old problems caused by the BP-Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, and receiving final public comment on the 2012-2013 hunting season dates and general/wildlife management area hunting rules and regulations.
The commission also is scheduled to hear a Ducks Unlimited report on waterfowl and breeding-grounds work in the Canadian Province of Saskatchewan.
On the trail
Baton Rouge’s Blake Betz and Ragley’s Christopher Chandler will represent the state in the Junior Bassmaster Central Division Regional after winning their age group title in last weekend’s Louisiana Federation Nation Jr. Bassmaster State Tournament at North Pass.
Betz won the 15-18 age group with a five-bass, 5.63-pound total. Zachary’s Austin Wilbert was second at 4.66 pounds.
Chandler’s five-bass, 6.87-pound total won the 11-14 age group. Justin Watts of Denham Springs was second at 5.16.
Saturday was good to Brooke Morrison, too. The Breaux Bridge angler brought in a five-bass limit weighing 17 pounds, 9 ounces to take the near $2,700 first-place prize money in the Walmart Bass Fishing League Cowboy Division stop in the Atchafalaya Basin near Morgan City.
“I caught a bunch of fish all day long,” Morrison said in a BFL release. “But I discovered during practice that it was a chatterbait that really produced the bigger bass. That is what won the tournament for me.
“I was targeting Cypress trees with hydrilla in 3 to 5 feet of water using a white chatterbait with a green pumpkin trailer. That’s what I caught my nice 4-pounder on,” Morrision adding that he was catching numbers of bass, as many as 25 bass with 15 14-inch-loong keepers, on a Zoom Brush Hog.
Todd Boudreaux of Gray brought in a four-bass, 11-14 total to win $1,347 for the top catch in the Co-angler Division. And Casey Scanlon of Lenexa, Kan., is the latest qualifier for the 2013 Bassmaster Classic after taking the Bassmaster Central Open tournament last week on Bull Shoals near Branson, Mo. Scanlon’s three-day, 15-bass total was 49 pounds, 4 ounces. Texas angler James Kiser was second at 46-9.