Monday, August 21, 2023

Time for action on redfish and speckled trout

At their July and August meetings, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission passed two Notices of Intent of immense interest to saltwater anglers - one for regulation changes to red drum, the other for regulation changes to speckled trout.  

Current regulations for both species were set over 30 years ago.  Since then, a number of factors - including a large increase in number of anglers and extensive loss of habitat - have led to their declines.  As a result, both species currently have Spawning Potential Ratios (SPRs) below their conservation standards.

The redfish NOI calls for the following change:

  • Current:    5 fish, 16 - 27 inch slot, one over slot allowed
  • Proposed:  3 fish, 18 - 24 inch slot, none over slot

The trout NOI calls for the following change:

  • Current:     25 fish, 12 inch minimum
  • Proposed:  15 fish, 13 - 20 inch slot, two allowed over slot

While conservationists are delighted about these proposals, they're just that - proposals.  An NOI must go through a public comment period, followed by approval from the Legislative Oversight Committee, and then it becomes rule.

For this reason, there is still much left to do to insure these NOIs become regulation.  We strongly urge fly fishers, kayak anglers, and other champions of conservation to contact the following folks who will help with the final decision process:

LWFC NOI comments sent to:

LA Senate Natural Resource Committee Members

Hensgens, Bob
 Fesi, Michael "Big Mike"
 Allain, R. L. Bret
Connick, Patrick
 Hewitt, Sharon
Kleinpeter, Caleb
Lambert, Eddie J.
 McMath, Patrick

LA House Natural Resource Committee Members

 Coussan, Jean-Paul
 Bourriaque, Ryan
 Butler, Rhonda Gaye
 Carrier, R. Dewith
 Cormier, Mack
 Fisher, Adrian
 Hilferty, Stephanie
 Kerner, Timothy P.
Landry, Mandie
 McKnight, Scott
 Mincey, Jr., Buddy
 Orgeron, Joseph A.
 Riser, Neil
 Romero, Troy D.
Schamerhorn, Rodney
 Wheat, Jr., William "Bill"
 Magee, Tanner
 Schexnayder, Clay

Governor John Bel Edwards

In addition, there will be a special public meeting on September 21st at LDWF Headquarters in Baton Rouge regarding speckled trout regulations.  We urge anyone who can make this meeting to attend.