LDWF says early draft of study shows trout numbers down; new evaluation underway

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is reassessing the state’s stock of speckled trout. An earlier preliminary, but incomplete draft indicated that the stock was overfished and landings had decreased to their lowest levels in recent years.

LDWF says those preliminary findings are going through a re-evaluation and finalization process that will take several months. The department also says while the numbers have actually decreased, they do not necessitate a need to make immediate changes in the number of speckled trout anglers can take.

“It will probably not affect speckled trout limits for the 2019 season as there are additional management steps to be taken between a draft stock assessment and any final regulation change,” said Patrick Banks, LDWF Assistant Secretary for Fisheries. “We will have a better sense of where we are when the stock assessment results are compiled, evaluated and finalized. But, we do know that the stock’s numbers have dropped.”

LDWF will bring the finalized stock assessment that will include potential management options to improve the status of the stock at a future commission meeting. The analysis will include several possible recommendations, including, but not limited to, bag and size limit modifications. The public will also have ample opportunity to comment during commission meetings and public hearings prior to any management changes being finalized by the Commission.