The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) adopted a Notice of Intent (NOI) to increase the minimum size limit of spotted seatrout to 13.5 inches total length from the current 12 inches minimum total length and to decrease the current 25 fish daily bag limit to 15 fish daily bag limit. Modifications in this rule create one statewide size and bag limit, removing the separate regulations in coastal western Louisiana.
At the October 2022 LWFC meeting, LDWF staff presented data indicating that spotted seatrout were continuing to be overfished1 and undergoing overfishing2 . Management options and recent survey results regarding public opinions toward those options were presented to the LWFC as well.
During the last 2.5 years, LDWF has held eight public meetings across the state, issued multiple surveys to the public, and collected hundreds of public comments on this topic via email.
“I really appreciate the effort of our anglers for taking the time to provide valuable input during our meetings and surveys,” said LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet. “While the process was lengthy, it allowed ample time for our anglers to voice their opinions on potential management options and allowed the Commission to gather the relevant biological facts to make the difficult, but necessary decision about one of our most popular recreational species.”
Interested persons may submit comments relative to the proposed rule to Jason Adriance, Fisheries Division, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000 or via email to email@example.com before December 30, 2022. The full notice of intent can be found here.
Additional information on spotted seatrout can be found at:
1. What does Overfished mean?
Overfished is the condition of a fishery that occurs when the spawning stock biomass of the fishery is below the level that is adequate for a fishery’s recruitment class to replace the fishery’s spawning class.
2. What does Overfishing mean?
Overfishing is the removal of a species of fish at a rate greater than the species can replenish its population naturally, resulting in the species becoming increasingly underpopulated. This term does not necessarily mean that fish removals through fishing pressure are the cause of the low population numbers, necessarily, but means that the fish population can no longer support the current amount of fish removals.
The Commission’s adoption of a Notice of Intent (NOI) is the first of many steps in promulgating a final Rule, which can take between 90 days and one year. Once adopted, the NOI will be published in the State Register and begin the public comment period. The Commission will consider all public comments received and may make any changes they deem necessary or appropriate. Absent any amendments to the NOI by the Commission, the proposed Rule will be sent to the Legislative Oversight Committee for their review. Upon expiration of the 30-day oversight period, or upon a favorable review by the Oversight Committee, the Rule can be published as final in the State Register.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. LDWF receives no state general funding and depends on license sales as a major funding source. Help us protect your hunting and fishing heritage while preserving habitat, wildlife, and aquatic resources by purchasing your license at www.wlf.la.gov.