Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Inland Fisheries biologist Jody David said the removal of the slot restriction is a direct response to anglers.
“We did a survey, and 70 percent of the respondents wanted change,” David said.
In addition, LDWF biologists finally had to admit the goal of the restrictions simply didn’t materialize — largely because of a lack of cooperation from anglers.
“What we found was that anglers were treating the entire lake’s bass fishery as mostly catch-and-release,” David said. “For the slot to have worked, anglers should have kept everything below and above the slot — and that wasn’t happening.”
He said removal of the slot offers more opportunities to harvest fish, while the potential for overharvest is expected to be minimal.
In fact, David said the most-recent electrofishing data demonstrated no significant changes in bass density.
Creel surveys had not been completed since the deregulation occurred on April 20, 2014, but David said surveys are planned.
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