Louisiana Wildlife Federation (LWF) supports a change to regulations for recreational harvest of spotted seatrout (speckled trout) in Louisiana to address the reported decrease in species population over the past several years.
LWF would support a creel of 15 and a minimum size of 13.5 inches that was labeled “Option II” from among several proposed management options to recover the population in five years. LWF urges the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission to adopt this change as the one preferred by the saltwater anglers who responded to surveys in 2020 and in 2021.
While no single option had overwhelming support from those surveyed, Option II was one of two options presented that was more highly rated than the current regulations as asked in the 2021 survey. This is a clear signal that anglers see a need for change to address concerns over declines in speckled trout. Commissioners can review the recovery data from year to year and adjust if needed. For uniformity in enforcement and ease in understanding the new regulation, LWF would support making this change apply for all areas of coastal Louisiana.
In November 2021, staff members with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries reported the results of surveys conducted by email and on their website to solicit feedback from saltwater anglers about their preferences for suggested regulation changes to recover the spotted seatrout population in Louisiana. Multiple options were proposed for changes in creel, minimum size, and/or slots to meet a goal of recovering population numbers within 5 years.
Nearly half of respondents reported that speckled trout fishing has gotten worse in their favorite/regular fishing spots and 90% reported concern about declines in specks. There is recognition among many recreational anglers that management and regulations should address the threat of declining numbers of speckled trout. LWF agrees with making a change.
You can review summary reports on the survey data collected and listen to presentations and discussion about declining spotted seatrout at the Department’s website: https://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/page/spotted-seatrout