February 14, 2013 at 2:57pm
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?