La. officials vote to reduce speckled trout catch limits
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - In an effort to deal with a decline in the speckled trout population, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries officials have voted to decrease the number a single fisherman may catch.
On Thurs., Oct. 4, a Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission voted to set a new 15-fish limit on speckled trout, down from the previous limit of 25, which was in place for more than 30 years.
Commissioners also voted to raise the minimum size of trout that may be taken from the current 12-inch standard to 13.5 inches.
Experts say speckled trout stocks are declining due to coastal erosion, loss of habitat, as well as overfishing.
“I don’t know how this makes much of a change,” a fisherman in attendance, Ben Graham said. “The average guy just catches two to five fish.”
“I do believe the reduction is warranted,” Chris Macaluso said. “We’ve lost too much habitat to produce a kind of fishery we once had.”
A state fishery expert says by increasing the minimum speckled trout catch size, female trout will have an additional spawning season which should boost the fish population.
The commission says they will do regular assessments to determine if speckled trout populations change with the new restrictions in place.
It will take another two or three months before the changes officially go into effect, and revisions to the limits could happen.
There is an ongoing public comment period.
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