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Spillway Bass Limits

I got to work this morning and a few coworkers said on the news last night they announced that the bass limit was changing to 7 per man with no size limit. Anyone else see this? Is it true? If so when does it take effect?
Atchafalaya Bass Regulation

Yes the plan is to change the regulation. There will be a 120 day comment period. The regulation would take affect in June or July. No size limit and 7 fish per day is the recommended change.

This is the form link to comment or go to LDWF website to read more.

Jeff Bruhl
It takes effect in 120 days. Was told it is a 2 year plan and if it works it will be instituted statewide. Good luck launching a boat in 120 days. Gonna need to get there on Tuesday to launch on Saturday. Maybe now all of the lazy people that dont want to have to work to catch keepers will be happy that they will be able to fill their freezer with filets. That is until the raping is over with and it's a struggle to catch any bass much less a limit.
new regs
Yea JB the first few days id get there two hours before sun up and make sure you wear life jackets, kill switches and put lights and horns all over your boat. There will be alot of morons on the water, you can count on that.
Let's just hope the there are plenty Game Wardens on hand to keep people as honest as possible. Heard a guy 2 weeks ago in Academy telling someone else that if the limits were changed, he would need to buy a new deep freezer just for bass. He said he has had to throw bass back for years and he will make them pay. Heard another guy saying he will take that first week off so he can fish everyday and fill his freezer.
Oh well, looks like I'll be fishing oxbows and rivers up in north Louisiana this summer.
I really hope everyone complaining about the 14 inch limit remembers this in 10-15 years...
No Size Limit
This will take place no sooner than June 20, which likely it will. They also want to move this limit state wide, 7 fish. Heard two people talking (biologist, WL&F) about eliminating the possession limit to a one day creel limit of 7 fish total for one day or a week. Word is many people are thinking about catching a limit, bringing it back to the camp or truck and going after a limit again and again on the same day. Some were wondering how many fish, fillets a 48 quart ice chest can hold. Be careful what you ask for, we may be getting much more, or in the long run, much less than what we asked for. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
'Short and Sweet' ???
...and at the end of day you will peep-a-boo into the over-crowded live well and set free the 'lucky midgets'...meanwhile the wardens O.T. will be double and the fish'n tax will be greater !!!...cheers
Bass Population Destroyed
If this takes place it will destroy the Bass population. Really wish they would enforce a slot limit and give the Bass a chance.
B.O. - I wouldn't say it will destroy the population. If we have a year or two of low water during the spawn AND no size limit, then THAT will destroy the population.

I think the main thing this will do is put an end to the enjoyment of going out there and just catching fish. I, as well as others, just enjoy catching fish. I don't care if they are 8 inches or 10 pounds. I just want to catch, and I base my success on whether or not I caught fish. I do not base my success on filet poundage I store in my freezer.

I just wish the limit would have been 5 under 14 inches and 5 over 14 inches. Protect some of the fish.
Spillway crybabies
Nothing will please self-appointed bass protectors. They will always have disdain for anyone that likes to fish & eat their catches. Scientific studies be damned, these self-appointed bass protectors know what's best.

You guys kill me!!!

A recent LDWF evaluation determined that the 14” minimum size limit for bass in the Atchafalaya Basin, Lake Verret, Lake Palourde, and Fausse Pointe Lake is not effective in increasing the abundance of large size bass. For the full evaluation, visit HERE.

Results from the study indicate that growth and life span of Atchafalaya Basin bass are more heavily influenced by environmental factors than by anglers. Anglers release small fish with the expectation that they will grow larger with age. In the Atchafalaya Basin, there is no guarantee conditions will be favorable for their development. Basin anglers have been releasing bass since 1992, only to see them become victims of storm after storm.

Anglers in the Atchafalaya Basin will continue to catch the same number of nice size bass with or without any length limit. Therefore, our technical staff does not consider length regulations to be beneficial for the Atchafalaya Basin, Lake Verret, Lake Palourde and Fausse Pointe Lake.

Atchafalaya Basin anglers currently catch more bass due to the 14” minimum length limit because most bass are protected from harvest. It is important to understand that removal of the 14” minimum length limit would increase bass harvest and decrease the number of available bass for anglers to catch. A temporary reduction in creel limit could moderate the change, but environmental factors will eventually determine the number of bass available to anglers in the Atchafalaya Basin.

The Atchafalaya Basin is one of the most popular fisheries in Louisiana. Therefore, any regulation change will directly impact thousands of anglers. Your comments and opinions will provide valuable insight into angler preferences toward bass management in the Atchafalaya Basin.

Please take the time to share them with us.
So by people caring about a sport they love
and having a different opinion then you they are considered 'crybabies'?

Way to have a mature conversation about the issue!

I could do the same to you let me try:

I don't get these people who feel the need to keep every fish they catch because 'They spend money fishing'! Wouldn't it be cheaper just to buy your fish instead of wasting all the money and time trying to catch them?
I think
I may be wrong but I think what bobbatt is alluding to is the bass fishermen here that bash you for keeping any bass. Period.
I gets kinda overboard and ridiculous.
I am a meat fisherman. I love to fish and I love to eat fish. I keep what I legally catch and eat what I keep. I don't waste anything. I don't feel anyone should be bashed for doing what they love.
We paid our fees, bought our baits, gas, ice, etc. Don't try to force your ideals on us.

I think that is what he is trying to get across.
bobbatt - What is the difference between people whining about wanting bass released and people whining about catching 30 bass and not being able to keep any? For most of us, this is not about catching big fish. It is about catcing fish. We enjoy catching fish. I do not constitute a good trip with filet poundage in my freezer. I constitute a good trip by whether or not I had fun CATCHING FISH! Is my way the best way? Nope. Is being able to keep every bass the best way? Nope. If you think no size limit will work, try to find a fishery in this country that is good that does NOT have some sort of size restriction. Bet you can't do it. Call a guide at Amistad or Falcon. Ask them what fishing was like before everyone knew it was loaded and ask them what happened once people started going and fileting everything they caught.
Releasing all the fish is just as bad as keeping all of them. The Spillway will not be able to handle the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of bass that will be taken out of it this summer. Lord forbid we have no water next year during the spawn and those females will be pounded on everyday.
Again, it's not just about releasing all the bass. It's wanting to be able to catch fish and I'd be willing to bet that after 2 years, the numbers of fish caught will be way down.
That's just talking about the fish. I will not get started on how many morons with a boat will now be in the Spillway every weekend, riding around half throttle, bow pointed straight up in the air and being what they are...morons.
I know exactly what he is referring to!
And just like in your post why fish if you worried about money you spend? It is a hell of a lot cheaper to buy fish in the store than to go catch them so just do that! I am not against keeping fish I do it from time to time as well but I do not keep any bass with size or more than 5 a trip its just my way of preserving some thing for future generations. Again, if I was so worried about the money it cost me NOT to bring home fish I would just make a run to Tony's seafood and buy all the fish I want!
The Sky is falling
The LDW&F done a 20 year study and said the 14' size limit is not working. Give the new reccomendations a chance. The meat hunters, as y'all call them, gave y'all 20 years. I don't think everybody that fishes the Spillway,thats not a tournament fisherman is an outlaw like the comments suggest. Why do the weekend tournament fisherman think their opinion is the only one that needs to be heard?
I'm not a tournament fisher
I do not fish tournaments, I fish because I love it and love to eat them. I have been fishing the spillway for 25 years and with in the last 10 years the quality of the Bass have dropped. Yes I know that the Hurricanes hurt the fish, but the amount of people that fish in the spillway now is hurting the fish the most. The proof is out there, when you catch 30 Bass and 90% of them or 13' to 13-7/8' that's not on the Hurricanes that's is on having a 14' size limit and with no limit at all, yes it will be good the first year or two but the population will drop and drop fast with no good size fish.
I am not a Tourney fisherman neither!
You are bulking everyone in a group just like you claim in your post you do like when people do it. I fish Miracle Network tourney and that is all and I am against a no size limit rule.
Take them fish home and eat them. Leave Mother Nature alone and she will fix this problem herself. Look at False River, all the Trophy Lakes that were messed with, it all turned to dung. Fishing below Hwy. 90 is great, so please stay away and let Mother Nature alone.
Before you post go read the report
The bass in the spillway grow more slowly than the average bass in Louisiana. When the limit was put in place it was done because 14' fish were supposed to be 2 years old and that ensured all fish a chance to spawn before being taken out. A 20 plus year study of the bass in that system has been done. What they found it takes the average fish in the basin 3.4 years to reach 14' and because of storms, low water and high water conditions the average bass lives LESS THAN 5 years. You want to know why so many fish are 13-13 7/8, not anglers and pressure it absolutely the environment. I do believe the science behind the 14' was fine. If they have 20 plus years of data on these fish use it. Set the minimum length at whatever a 2 year old basin bass is 10' 11' or 12'. You still ensure they spawn and people who want to keep fish like me can keep a few. I think 5 per person is sufficient as well.
Reduction of population
B.O. I think population reduction is tha reason for the removal of the 14' size limit. I have fished the Spillway for well over thirty years and the fishing is not as good as it was pre Andrew. The original plan after Andrew was to keep the 14' limit for a couple years,but,tournament fisherman was the ones pushing to keep it in place. It was met with little resistance at first, because EVERYONE agreed it was working to get the numbers up. No size limit in the Marsh and Catawatchie ares and we catch quality fish in those areas. Both of those get plenty pressure.
You really trying to compare False river with the whole La. Marsh? Yea, they JUST alike and have exactly the same issues!

Well it looks like guys that fish only to eat the fish will get their way so will see what the area looks like after 3-5 years or after one low water spawn...

Personally I bass fish because I like the art of bass fishing and figuring them out while catching nice fish. I am not against keeping fish but if that is your first priority it just doesn't make any sense to me. Like I said before it never pays for itself to catch your own fish. So if that is what you are after and are not passionate about the sport and art of fishing then just go to the local seafood market and buy some.

I'm done with this conversation. I just can't understand this kind of logic so I guess I am just in the minority. I'll just start fishing Toledo Bend/Sam Rayburn more.

BTW: Go try and catch a nice bass in the Tank Pond this year!
If the Spillway size restriction is working so well,then explain why the best fisherman in the Country during the Bassmasters classic all fished ares with no size limit.
Geaux, I stocked two fire ponds year's ago when the WLF would give you the fish to put in them. First of the year they gave me 1250 brem fingerling's three months later 125 bass. Now with this they gave me a booklet about small lakes. In this booklet it said to never put a fish back in the pond because they reproduce so fast throw them out. I'll be the first one to say that it is hard to throw a small fish on the bank but that is what the booklet said to do. So take them fish home and eat them, thats what they are there for, also they opened the spillway up what two year's ago now and that restocked it then.
Free Country
Unless you pay taxes. :)
Everyone has the right to express their opinions, views, ideas, etc.
No one, not one single person has the right to tell me what I need to do with the fish that I legally catch.

The whole argument is pointless anyway. You cannot out fish Mother Nature. God made fish to feed the whole world. That is why he designed them to lay thousands to millions of eggs every year. There is not enough people on the planet to out fish God.

Environmental factors which we sometimes create are the problem. And some environmental conditions beyond our control affect the fisheries. Not your average take home the fish fisherman.

If you are really concerned about the bass, then never take a boat that carries fuel, oil or any chemicals of any kind. Never run your boat fast enough to create a wake that causes erosion of banks, silt in the water and noise pollution. If you need to pee do so in a ziploc bag and bring it home with you. Same with other bodily wastes. Stop using lead jigs and weights. No paint on anything. Use only unpainted balsa corks. I can go on and on and on. Just like Mr. Catch and release. I am being ridiculous you say? Look at your own argument.

Impoundments, ponds. If you caught there before and then you go and catch nothing. You nor anyone else caught all the fish. Something happened to the fish but it wasn't the fishermen unless the fisherman transferred something from his hands when he released the fish. Disease most likely would kill off an impoundment or pond.

My point boils down to this. Humans cannot catch all the fish. There will always be fish to replenish the stock. The whole pointless argument of catch and release was caused by some yankee rednecks that said the pro bass tournament fishermen were going to catch all their fish. A large debate started by uneducated rednecks plying the waters in their Ouachita flat boats, perpetuated by educated rednecks flying across the water in their $40,000 bass boats. (Dance, Martin, Van Dam etc.)

Looka hoss they catchin all our fish!
dirtyred - the reason BASS pro's fished areas without a size limit was because of pressure and ease of figuring the fish out.
Finding enough fish or areas in the Spillway that does not have several other boats in it AND areas that don't have every Jimmy Jo-Bob riding his boat at half throttle muddying up the bank is next to impossible on a Saturday or Sunday. Fish in the Spillway come and go more quickly than marsh fish. As long as there is tidal movement in the marsh, the fish are way more easy to pattern and hold to that pattern longer than fish in the Spillway.
Go to a ramp in Venice or Catouachie on a Saturday morning, I PROMISE you, you will not have to wait in a 300 yard long line to launch your boat like you will in the Spillway.
As for the Catouachie comment, since KVD won the Classic, that area hasn't been the same. Wanna know one of the reasons why???? Because people raped it! I remember when that area first blew up with fish. I watched boats keep every bass that was caught. From 8 inches to 8 pounds. And some of those boats were keeping 100+ fish a day. I'd see boats catch and keep fish for a few hours then leave only to come back after dropping fish off at their truck.
The Spillway can handle fish being kept to some extent. The numbers of people that will be in there this summer and the numbers of fish that will be brought out of there will have a hard impact on the fishery. It will help to some degree though. Less fish will mean more food for the ones that do not hit the filet table which will translate to bigger fish BUT, it will also mean less fish for people to catch after a short time.
The question each person must ask themselves is, 'would I rather catch a bunch of fish I can't keep or just a few that I can keep?' Me? I'd much rather catch 100 fish I can't keep then 5 I can keep but that's just me.
Not Really
fish taxi - I can agree with you somewhat but saying people can't out-catch Mother Nature is not true. Ever heard of Lake Guerrrero in Mexico? Remember when redfish were almost impossible to catch? Bass in Catouachie are nowhere near what they used to be. People hammering the fishery has a lot to do with that. Like I said earlier, call a guide at Amistad or Falcon and ask them about whether or not people can out fish Mother Nature, you'll be shocked at their answer.
Catch and release only is just as bad as catch and keep only. I just think that the pressure that will be put on the Spillway this summer and fall and the amount of fish that will be taken out of there will not have the result people want.
Oh well
JB the tank farm area was getting hammered before KVD won the Bassmasters. The whole point,which is useless to argue about is the 14' size limit did little to no good to create a trophy area like most wanted. You will never please everyone, no matter what format they reccomend. I fish alot of areas in Louisiana and never see other boats catching and keeping 100's of bass a day.If I did see it happen I would get boat numbers and call LDW&F.
Did you get the boat numbers and call and report the thieves to OGT???
The Tank Pond
The tank pond is screwed because all the grass has been killed! The owner of Pier 90 launch wants to file a class action lawsuit!
Tank ponds
I haven't been fishig there since last year before teal season...thy sprayed again and killed the grass?!?!
Let's go get um
Within 2 years...the hoard of people will remove most of those 13 7/8 inch bass everyone has been crying about and everyone will be after the 11 inch bass. Since the states made limits with outdated studies from 40 to 50 years ago..people have become much, much better fishermen. The lures used today are much, much improved than what I was using in the 60's. People can quickly get fishing info from the internet or TV, and use it effectively. It just wasn't that way when I was coming up. There was a LOT fewer fishermen out there also when I started bass fishing. The study that the LDWF conducted has some merit...but you gotta use some good ole common sense to go along with that Einstein study. I've fished the spillway for better that 40 years now. I've seen more than a few lean years in there, along with some good ones. The basin is better off now after a storm than it ever was. I've seen after storms in the 70's and 80's..and after Andrew in 92, that it took the basin years to rebound to where you could consistently catch some fish. There are enough spawning aged bass in the basin now that if a storm went over it and killed 70 to 80% of the would recover quickly due to this. I don't care about the 10 bass limit...but a sensible deal would have been to reduce the size limit to 13 inches and keep a good population of those bass in there. And please, I could go on about Lake Cataouatche...I was raised on that lake, and it's a shame what's happened there.
eman - I have called OGT 4 times. Once in Montegut, once in Verret and twice in Catouachie. Of those 4 times, only ONCE did I receive a return call from an Agent and none of those times did I see an Agent.
I just thing the Spillway will not be able to handle the volume of fish that will be taken out this summer.
Oops my bad
Guess I don't have a degree in marine biology either. Nor do I think fishing guide is either.
God made nothing permanent. Species come and go. Everything has a lifespan. Even radioactive isotopes.
I will never disagree with anyone who wants to release fish. I enjoy fishing as much as that person. I guess I like to eat the fish I catch more than that person. And if I so please then that is what I will do.
If the lifespan of any fishery ends something will take its place and that something may be better.
I think it's odd that one rule did nothing to promote the fishery as intended and the biologist at LDWF decide to try something different and everyone that fishes the area without change for the better wants the status quo. ''Lets keep the same lame fishery.'' Hmmmm
All will tell you to throw back fish because that is what they make money on. The fish you throw back.
Lake G in Mexico probably died due to a disease rather than overfishing. Probably something an American brought over on his line or lures.
Never had a problem catching redfish in 45 years of fishing. Even if there was a problem it will be mostly due to environmental factors or disease

A cop pulled a man over for speeding. The man said Why did you stop me in the middle of everyone else that was speeding?
The cop said, It's just like fishing in a pond, can't catch em all

And you can't. No matter how hard you hammer it.
Nature're right. Everything has a lifespan, nothing is forever, not even humans.When a fishery is depleted, nature will make room for another species. Maybe those ugly snakehead fish will keep making their way over from the eastern seaboard and fill the void here....heard they taste like chicken.
I never said anything about a person not being able to take home some of the fish they catch, they should be able to. But what I did say was we need to look at the size limits and the limits themselves to make sure we maintain a decent fishery....not just for us, but for our children and grandchildren. I have taken fishing trips to states like Texas and Florida, and have caught lots of fish in some beautiful lakes and areas. They actually have way more fishermen in those states than we have here. They do have more restrictive size limits and daily creel limits than we do. Those limits are not there just to pee somebody off, but to make sure they will always have good fishing.
Thank you for trying!
i called OGT after witnessing 2 thieves on elmers isle bridge keeping every redfish they caught. My son and i were catching them every cast just like the thieves. Only problem was EVERY fish was between 14 ' - 15 '. Son and i each caught over 100 reds that day and didn't have 1 fish that made 16'.
Stayed there 4 hours after making 3 calls and never saw an agent or had a return phone call.
I agree w/ removing the 14' limit in the spillway ,BUT there needs to be some type of limit . maybe 12' or 5 under 14 , 5 over 14 Not sure, but what they have now ain't working the way they wanted.
Oops my bad
Maybe it's just my, but I don't understand. How can a place that you can go and regularly catch 40-100 bass a day be a lame fishery.
No earlier than June and the changes are only set for 2 years. Let's go w/ it for 2 years and see how the fishing is afterwards? If the fishing gets worse , they can see that and go back to the 14' limit. If it doesn't then they can add 2 more years.
Greenhead - My point exactly!! I have said it hundreds of times. A lot of people associate a good trip with how many filets they put in their freezer. They can catch hundreds of fish each trip but if none are able to hit the ice, the trip is a fail. I will never get that. I also think that it could be one of the reasons kids are less interested in fishing. I have talked to numerous people on the water that had small kids in their boat and all the adult does in gripe about how it sucks to catch 13 7/8 inch fish all day long. The kids hear this and become indoctrinated. They think they have just had a bad trip because keepers were not caught.
I just hope WL&F doesn't drag their feet on making another change if this doesn't work. I will be the first to admit that an across the board 14 inch requirement is not the answer. I also think this new rule is not the answer. Only time will tell and I REALLY hope I can come here in 2 years and admit I was wrong...
2 years
The only thing set to last 2 years is the 7 fish limit. After that it goes to 10 fish.
The lifting of the minimum is not a 2 year plan. It's permanent.
size and limit
Seems to me that the LDWF would use the same idea here as with redfish. If they are going to lower the creel limit to 7, then they should have a size limit. If a person is fishing for fillets, and he catches his limit of seven and continues to fish, he may tend to replace the smaller dead fish with a larger fish. Gonna lose alot of little ones over this!!!

As for those who plan on going out and catch one limit after the other just to fill the freezer, well they are doing that anyway and nothing but a game warden and a fine can stop that.
No size restriction
I neither agree nor disagree with the plan to remove the 14inch limit from the spillway right now. Over the past four years I've gone to the spillway at least 100 times to fish, and can generally catch between 30-50 bass each trip with an average of 5 keepers. To me that is perfect. I'm able to catch fish all day while I'm there, but at the end of the day I'm able to bring a few home to make dinner. When I originally heard they wanted to change it I thought of a 5 under 5 over type of restriction. I still favor this over the current and proposed plans. The 5 O/U would guarantee at least 5 fish for everyone, and you'd still be able to keep larger bass without effecting your limt per se.

In addition I think working down from 14 to no limit should be something they consider. Making that drastic of a change at one time will only result in the areas being way to populated with fishermen. I'd suggest lowering it bi-yearly so that the fish have time to adapt.
cajun - you hit the nail on the head. With the thousands of fish that will be taken out in such a short time will, I think, have almost the same effect as a hurricane albeit a much slower end result. But, hey, at least we will have freezers full of filets right? Yeah, thats AWESOME.....
hit the nail on the head
Sorry I been bizzy with work and all.
JB you hit the nail on the head with my ''Lame fishery'' statement.

You and everyone else that fishes have the same story....We catch 100 bass every day 13 3/4'' and a couple keepers.

So tell me this, how exactly how big are the bass you call keepers? 5, 6, 8 pounders? Bigger? Or are they just big enough to make the size limit of 14''? 14 1/4''?

If your beating the water regularly and don't get any wall hangers or a very small number of trophies your bass fishery is LAME.

Evidently the 14'' size limit isn't working like the LDWF biologist expected it to. And they want to make a change. Might be too much competition for food. You say that you catch 100 a day then that may actually be the problem. LDWF manage for trophy fisheries. I will not say they do an excellent job of it but at least they try hard.

7 fish per person limit isn't bad. Most people going fishing hardly ever catch their limit. The one doing catch and release will still do catch and release.
Not At All
Taxi - Nope, I have never caught a bass bigger than 5 pounds in the spillway. The majority of keepers are 14 - 17 inches. If you can, can you please direct me to the article or other literature that states the reasoning behind the 14 inch limit is to grow trophy fish? Everything I read from WL&F says the 14 inch limit was to let fish be able to spawn once or twice before hitting the filet table.
In no way is the Spillway a lame fishery. Any body of water that can give up that amount of fish, HEALTHY fish at that, is in no way lame. You want to see a lame fishery? Go fish the Tickfaw/Amite system.
Those rivers are polluted.

OK I admit I am wrong on one issue of the size limit. But there is probably too many bass there. You can overgraze any acreage be it on land or under water.

I am not a bass fisherman as you can tell. But to me size not quantity is what bass fishing is all about. Why catch 100 fish, injure them then throw them back? Bragging rights? I would rather catch 1 trophy take a pic then brag it up. Isn't that the way its supposed to be?
taxi - I don't know many bass fisherman that would rather catch only 1 fish even if it is a monster. I fish to catch fish. I like to catch them and want to catch as many as possible. Sometimes I keep a few but the vast majority of the time I do not. I have no problem with people keeping bass. I have a problem with the people that keep bass, or any fish, when they have a freezer full of fish at their house. I have a problem with people that think the only successful or fun trip is one where you stock filets in your freezer.
I just truly believe that this is a step in the wrong direction. Sure, people will be happy as a puppy with two peters this year and somewhat next year as well but I can assure you that the fish can't spawn quick enough to replace the fish that will be taken out of there. I also agree with you that some fish could be taken out but not as may as will be removed these 2 years.
Fish that are overpopulated or unhealthy will not be as thick as bass in the spillway. Have you ever caught bass from a pond that was overpopulated? The fish are long and paper-thin. Most have large heads and thin bodies. Bass in the spillway are just the opposite. They have small heads and short, stubby bodies that are 2-3 inches thick across the back. That is not a healthy or stunted fish.
Why do you want to catch 100's of bass a day? Not all the undersized bass you throw back are as in good of shape as when you caught it.
I catch a few fish and every trip some of those fish have been gill hooked, deep swallowed hooked, hooked through the eye socket. Something that keeps the fish from being the prime predator that he was before being caught.
Why do you have the need to catch and throw back that many bass?
Get an ultra lite and go for perch, goggle eye, sac-a-lait to feed your need to reel in something. Less harassment of the bass means more healthy bass.
Fish taxi, this same thing used to happen to me when I first started bass fishing too. Time and experience will educate you to the feel of a fish taking the bait. It does happen time to time where a fish will fool me, gut hook one. Along with that will come different tactics required to catch 14' plus fish. You never stop learning.
A more productive forum for your comments
Public comment is being accepted until May 2, and can be mailed to LDWF Inland Fisheries Director Mike Wood at Department of Wildlife & Fisheries, Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000.
taxi - seriously? I can't remember the last time I gut hooked a fish. 95% of the fish I have caught I the last few years have come on spinnerbaits, crankbaits or a jig. Very few have been hooked anywhere other than the mouth. Even if I do gut hook a fish, there is still a chance that fish will live. That is a better chance than someone wanting to fish for the sole purpose of eating fish. From what you are saying, maybe the law ought to be you have to keep the first 7 bass you catch and not target the species from that point forward AND it should be illegal to just fun fish for them?
And I do fish for bream, sac a lait and catfish. If I want to fry fish for the family or a co-worker that doesn't fish asks for fish, I target those species. They are much more plentiful and spawn more than bass do.
Your the expert fishermen
What about the regular fishermen not of your caliber? I am sure there isn't many experts such as you fishdoctor and JB.
Somewhere in the middle
I'm somewhere in the middle Fish Taxi. People like JB and I, as well as others, know what a great fishery we have here. We want to preserve it, not let it become just another place to fish. We have so many places without a size limit to fish in south La. Why can't we have both?
the only way to keep everyone happy and the fishing good is a slot .....cut and dry
Trailer, I have asked about a slot in the spillway. The biologist say it won't work yet they are willing to destroy the great fishery they have created. I asked would it really hurt to try a slot (12' to 14') since the slot fish are already in place. They just say, 'it won't work'. Nothing to prove or back up that statement. 'It just won't work'.
Senators son
Or fortunate son. Fishdoctor, probably some connected kid cant catch fish over the 14'' rule and daddy made sure that WLF got the message that a change was needed. Or else.
I dont know if this is a fact or not but it seems that the rule is 10% of the fishermen catch 90% of the fish and 90% of the fishermen catch 10% of the fish. So 90% of the new fishermen yall think will show up when this no size rule is put in place wont catch much and wont return.
If you see any illegal activity there is a LADWF tips APP for your phone. You can send in pictures of illegal activity as well as text.
I think yalls worse case scenario isnt likely to happen. Whatever doesnt kill you will make you stronger or maybe better fishermen.
You say 10% of fishermen will catch 90% of the fish, and the other 90% of the fishermen will catch the remaining 10%.

To me this math does not add up after being a frequent vistor to the landing(s). I've brought friends with me from out of state who had never bass fished before yet they still managed to catch plenty of fish. Bass in the spillway are not hard to catch most days. What are hard to catch are the 14inch fish. Remove the limit and any person who can throw a spinnerbait will catch their limit by noon.
there may be something to the biologist reasoning for the no size limit. Since they are that easy to catch may mean there is too many. Might be why they are so slow growing. Too much competition for food.
Looks like what you guys are saying is making the case for the biologist argument.

Less bass+more food=larger bass
Which is what the biologist want the end product to be. Not you being able to catch bass as soon as you drop the trolling motor.

Trophy bass brings in more people in from out of state. You might find out that this all boils down to is money. I may be wrong.

CCR was a great band huh?
Not so fast
Less bass does not always equal bigger bass. There are plenty of rivers throughout the state that it is hard to find big bass on. The conditions are not the same as the spillway, but the point is that removing bass will not directly produce bigger bass. If we follow their logic that it takes a bass 3 years to get the 14inch then I think it's safe to say the majority of bass will never even make it three years.

Let me remind everyone that I am not against the change. I just think that it should be made progressive and that W&F should work their way to it, and not make such a giant change over night. Taking it slowly while they continue to collect data is the best alternative. There may be no need to drop the size limit past 12 inches.
it is not
what i think. But it seems to be what the biologist think. IMHO
I got that from reading the recommendation report for the basin.

Maybe I am reading it wrong. Looks to me the biologist think less bass=more larger bass? Without expressly saying so.
Their report does not agree with their opinion
What I notice from the graph they give on page 6 is that each adverse weather condition(storms or drought) have killed the number of fish on the extremes more so then the norms. What I mean by that is the oldest and youngest bass have a much harder time dealing with the adverse weather then the 2-3yr old bass do. Their graph also makes sense in terms of statistics. Age 0-1 are the majority of the bass which seems logical because of the amount of eggs they lay in a given year. The older you go the less bass you will see due to fishermen and other natural causes.

Looking at the graph the formed with a Z-table it appears that bass at 2.5/yrs reach the 14inch limit and at 3.5/yrs the majority are meet or exceed the MLL. Heck even looking at 1.5/yrs it appears that bass in the basin are nearing the MLL and should be able to reach it at 2.5/yrs which their data shows to be true.

Figure 5 shows that the majority of bass are in the 2yr age classification which according to my above analysis makes perfect sense. At 3yrs the number drops a significant amount. This is because at 2.5/yrs bass are reaching the 14' MLL instead of 3.5/yrs that they are claiming.
I just read the survey over agin for the twentieth time. I still see no place where anybody said dropping the minimum will produce bigger fish. I did see however the same thing I saw before that stated
indicated that LMB in the Atchafalaya Basin reached 14 inches total length (TL) in
an average of 3.4 years. Results of the age analysis indicated LMB in the
Atchafalaya Basin were relatively short-lived, seldom reaching five years of age.'

Which means the fish are slow growing and because of natural factors like diet most will die before the grow to any significant size. Also and I quote

'' MLL’s can increase
angler expectation of improved catch rates. ''

This Is what I have been saying all a long. So yes when there are far less bass to be caught you might catch a fish or two more over the old MLL. Because there overall population has dropped and you will doing the same amount of fishing you would have before the MLL,but with lower catch rates so It will appear higher. I would also like to point out the If you read to the end of the study most of the books used to back up there data were published before 1990. I would imagine things have changed significantly in the the past 23 years. I would bet the anger pressure now verses when these were published has tripled not to mention more affective modern angling techies .
Don't worry about me. I am not going to the basin to fish.

WLF doesnt always do things that make sense.

Numbers, graphs, charts can always be disputed by people but doesnt mean either way is right.

Noah's Ark has been disputed ever since the story was first written.
Check the figures in this video and someone will dispute them. Accuracy? Only good when shooting to kill.
Not disagreeing
I do not disagree with the facts that they have given. I am only saying that the facts they put into writting do not reflect the graphs and other stats that they have. My first degree from LSU was in statistics so I understand how any cluster of numbers can be manipulated to reflect a certain position. My only problem is their information doesn't seem to be consistent.
Thats fine go there Im done with the hole thing. Because what ever they are going to do is what it is. Now you can have all the fried bass, grilled bass, bass tacos, grilled bass with etouffee, fired bass with etouffee over rice, bass couvillion, bass poboy, bass almandine , bass with dill sauce and crawfish tails, bass sushi, bass with crawfish cream sauce. Heck if you love that fishy aroma so much you can even use them as body wash there your fish.
I find it funny som many people come to defend the LWLF and biologist that they have cursed all this time for keeping the MLL. The same group that sprays grass and destroys fisheries in places that need it. Then turns around and doesn't do anything about places that could use it. Refuses to stand up to political pressure on water quality issues on lake that desperately need something done. They are for the most part content with mismanagement of a state that had a potential for great fisheries ,but rather them be gar holes. With maybe a few exceptions in north Louisiana that have other governing bodies to manage them.
The Point
I believe people are missing the point. The fact is that the 14in minimum was supposed to be temporary in the first place and was left in place to attempt to produce large bass in the area in question.

The pure fact of all the research with this 14in limit and everything else put together is that the area is incapable of producing a healthy population of large size bass.

I can't emphasize this enough. Whatever regulations that are in place aren't necessarily designed to grow bass to trophy size. While some areas of the state may succeed in producing trophy bass, the studies done over the years have proven that the basin is just not one of those areas, so a regulation designed to produce trophy bass is contradicting what the area is capable of.
I guess its time we write some letters the right people !!!!!
Basin fish
Fish are just like any other animal on earth, they adapt to their environment. Every time a small fish is released its genes are passed on. Eventually, with people only keeping large fish, the small fish start to outnumber the large fish dramatically. This means the smaller gene is more dominant throughout the population. Hunting clubs clubs basically do the same thing unintentionally when they implement a point restriction on what to shoot. The first couple of years look great but then it goes way down hill. Small fish can also overpopulate making it hard for every fish to get larger because there simply isn't enough food.

P.S. My 86 year old grandpa said he used to catch hundreds of bass a day that were really healthy before they implemented the size and creel limit. He also said there were just as many fishermen back then because people depended on the fish for food.
Trailer hook
Got this in my email today:

Hello anglers,

My name is Brac Salyers, and I am the Inland Fisheries District Manager for the Atchafalaya Basin. Please accept my appreciation for the concern and comments you’ve already shared with us related to the fisheries resources of the Atchafalaya Basin.

This email is provided as an update on recently proposed changes for bass regulations. On Thursday, Feb. 7th, the Wildlife & Fisheries Commission passed a Notice of Intent to remove the 14” minimum length limit for the Atchafalaya Basin and adjacent waters. A temporary reduction in creel limit (from 10 daily to 7) is also included in the action. The creel reduction is to last for two years. After that time, statewide regulations (10 fish daily – no length limit) would apply. Public comment for the Notice of Intent is currently being accepted. You can send your opinion on the Notice of Intent to . Deadline for public comment is April 19th. If the NOI is successful, it would be implemented on June 20th.

Materials related to the proposed change are available at the following link:

Thank you again for your participation.

Brac Salyers
Looks good
Sitting at my desk with my mouth watering.
Just sent this letter to WL&F

To Whom It May Concern,

First let me state that I am currently a recreational fisherman but used to fish many of the local tournament circuits. I have been closely following the public discussions concerning the possible changes to size limits for bass in the Atchafalaya Basin and the Lake Verret system. I had hoped that the commission would not remove the minimum size altogether, but rather allow fishermen to keep some specified number of fish (5 perhaps), under 14 inches and another specified number (3 to 5) over 14 inches.

With the announcement of the proposed changes, I hope that enough law enforcement personnel will be on patrol, or better yet, at various landings, to do spot creel checks to ensure people don't keep more than 7 per day. I have heard of some people catching a limit, returning to the landing to put the fish in an ice chest in their vehicle, and then going back out on the water to catch more the same day.

My concern is that with no minimum size limit at all, many fish will be removed in a short period of time, not only by bass fishermen, but pan fishermen as well. I also worry that many fish will die when culled after spending hours in a live well in favor of larger fish caught later in the day.

With the copious amounts of fishermen in the Spillway already, can the fishery withstand the EXTRA pressure that will be placed on it along with the sheer volume of bass removed in such a short time frame?

Thank you.
Jeremy Burns
Good message
I've wrote to them as well, and I hope that they take the time to listen to thought out remarks like ours.
Yeah Right
For those that doubt the spillway can produce trophy fish, stay tuned. A picture of a 10lb 4 oz fish that was caught an hour ago is forthcoming. And YES, she will be released after her measurements are taken for the replica mount...
Cannot wait
Love seeing good bass taken out of the spillway. I'd post a copy of my report sent to W&F; however, it neared 2000 words and is just too much to have to read.
Cajun - can you email me your letter? I'd like to read it.
You've got mail
An that is a beauty of a bass!
Yes it is. And let me add I am proud to say that she is now swimming in the same place she was caught from.
JB, nice fish and I agree with you on the 5 and 5. I think that would be a good compromise. That is what I said on the survey on LWF.
I might have mislead people about the fish I just posted. I did not catch that fish, that was my dad. I didn't want people to assume that was me and that I had caught her.
T-Mon - I think that the 5/5 would be the best solution hands down. It will give some people the opportunity to bring fish home while also ensuring that some fish be released. I really can't see any way that someone will object to that other then WL&F saying 'It just will not work.'
Valid point(s)
That is exactly why in my letter to them I cited their own studies to help prove some of my earlier points. We see that on their graph fish levels decrease each time we have a storm. What we also see is that shortly after the storm the fish levels return to 'normal' or equally the same amount as before. This return in population is generally within a year, but what we don't see is a continued jump after that. That's to say that the current regulation is actually helping ensure that we have enough fish to continue after a storm, and that anglers as well as mother nature are keeping the numbers in balance. It appears that there is a maximum and that no matter how much we throw back they never go past it.
Not consistent
What confuses me the most about LDWF's decision is that previously when they designated a lake as a trophy lake, they instituted a slot with I believe a 6 under and 2 over. The slot was something like 12 - 16. The science behind it was supposed to be to reduce the over abundance of small fish competing for the available food, protecting the major spawners, and limiting the take of trophy fish. Seems like they are ignoring their own science in this instance. I may be a little off on the exact numbers, but the point is that there is a way to provide something for all participants, those wanting to keep a few fish and those wanting to enjoy fishing for trophy fish. I just don't get it.
you guys need to take the 'scientific study' that LDWF conducted with a grain of salt. most of their 'study' was conducted around Henderson and on the west side of the Atchafalaya River. Most of us dont even fish those areas. catch surveys were only conducted following natural events that caused fish kills. not during the 'good years'. they didnt even conduct a single shock test on the verret side. and only 6 or 7 shock studies in areas that I fish out of belle river public down to russo's. IMO the study is a joke and does not reflect what is really going on in the basin. People that are taking this study as 'scientific fact' are uneducated people who can not read and evaluate what LDWF really conducted. and that is a BS study to justify lowering the limits.

unfortunately most of the people that are in favor of this study and take it as 'scientific fact' dont know the difference between you, you're and your or there, their, and they're.

edit: limits should be calculated based upon pounds of fish per square mile. not 'well they just gonna die anyway so let people eat'
congrats to your dad! thats a hell of a fish. I know of a lot of 4s, 5s, and 6s that were caught in the last week or so... even heard of an 8lber

but I guess they dont make it past 4 years either

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