WHEREAS, in 1992 Hurricane Andrew struck the Atchafalaya Basin leaving an estimated 200 million dead fish in its wake; and
WHEREAS, in 1993 the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) implemented a 14” minimum length limit for black bass for the waters of the Atchafalaya Basin, Lake Verret & Palourde following the devastating fish kill that resulted from Hurricane Andrew; and
WHEREAS, the purpose of the minimum length limit on black bass was to protect bass long enough to produce fingerlings and was planned to expire in two years; and
WHEREAS, the Atchafalaya Basin fishery rebounded quickly after Andrew and many credited the regulation as the primary factor for the recovery, therefore the minimum length limit became a permanent regulation in 1997 with substantial support from anglers; and
WHEREAS, in October of 2012, the LDWF Inland Fisheries Division released a report that summarized a 20 plus year extensive study with the purpose of evaluating the effectiveness of the 14” minimum length limit for black bass in the Atchafalaya Basin; and
WHEREAS, this report concluded that the 14” minimum length limit is an ineffective regulation for the purpose of protecting black bass and increasing the abundance of larger size bass in the Atchafalaya Basin.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Louisiana Wildlife Federation (LWF) urges the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to remove the 14” minimum length limit regulation on the black bass in the Atchafalaya Basin and adjacent waters, including Lakes Verret, Palourde, and Fausse Pointe.
Adopted by the Louisiana Wildlife Federation in Convention Assembled, February 24, 2013 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
The Louisiana Wildlife Federation is a statewide conservation education and advocacy organization with more than 8,500 members and 25 affiliate groups. Established in 1940, it is affiliated with the National Wildlife Federation and represents a broad constituency of conservationists including hunters, fishers, campers, birders, boaters, and other outdoor enthusiasts.