The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission today punted an expected request that the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries begin assessing the impacts of lowering the daily creel limit on trout caught in the Calcasieu Lake region and lowering the statewide minimum size limit on redfish.
Commissioners decided to wait until the July meeting to officially direct the agency to begin making the request, but LDWF's Randy Pausina said that biologically, reducing the minimum size limit for redfish and lowering the daily creel for speckled trout in Southwest Louisiana would have no impact on the fisheries.
Commissioner Will Drost, who was not present at today's meeting, has been discussing the trout changes with Pausina, and commission member Ann Taylor (who works for Louisiana Sportsman) has asked about reducing minimum size limits for redfish on a statewide basis.
Pausina told commissioners that his staff already was working on a trout assessment due to the state Legislature in the spring of 2015, but reassessing redfish populations and the potential impacts of lowering the minimum size limit would require more time.
However, he said his agency could provide a matrix commissioners could use to determine expected results of various regulations changes within "a couple of months, once we get started on it" for trout and within four months of beginning a redfish evaluation.
"It wll allow you to move a size limit or bag limit, and it will tell you how it will affect (spawn potential ratio) for trout, and for red drum it would be escapement rate," Pausina said.