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D’Arbonne crappie limits on LWFC agenda

It isn’t often than an agenda item on the the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission agenda jumps out at you and makes you do a double take. But this week, there is such an item.

The Commission will meet at 9:30 a.m., Thursday, July 7, at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries headquarters, located at 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge. Item No. 12 on the agenda is this:

“Receive and Consider a Notice of Intent to Amend the Crappie Regulations for D’Arbonne Lake – Ryan Daniel, Inland Fisheries Biologist”.

It’s been in serious discussion for about six years. Veteran fishermen have lobbied for it and suggested limit changes. Lake D’Arbonne has one of the most liberal limits in the country. Protecting it affects the very core of Union Parish’s economy. Many people have given up that something positive will be done. And some folks don’t want any changes.

Finally, the proposal comes after the LDWF has been involved in a three-year study of crappie on the lake. I’m not sure about the details of that study or how it was conducted. I don’t know for sure what will be proposed, so I won’t speculate. But no matter what it is, it will be big news. The proposal this week doesn’t change anything. it’s just a “Notice of Intent” which will be followed in what is obviously expected to be a fairly large number of public comments. It just lays the groundwork. As soon as something is official, we’ll share it.

I don’t know what the best proposal is, but I do know that proactively managing the crappie on D’Abonne is years overdue, especially in light of huge increases in the numbers of fishermen and the amazing development of technology that lets you see the fish underwater and drop your bait right on their head. It’s a great fishery and it’s gone down in the last two years some, especially relating to big slabs. But it’s still the best lake around this region and we owe it to future generations to make it as good as we can. We have look at it in the long run, not just what’s going in today’s livewell.

Hopefully the powers that be over the lake will also address the drawdown of the lake every four years, too, a practice that has been continued without regard for the consequences for decades just because “we’ve always done it that way.”

Item No. 9 should spur a lot of interest, too. I don’t think it will affect Lake D’Arbonne Country, but it will affect some of Louisiana’s best deer woods. I hope we do the right thing here without infringing on the rights of landowners and hunters:

ITEM NO. 9:
“Present Public Comments on Chronic Wasting Disease Control Areas Notice of Intent and Request Final Approval – Johnathan Bordelon, Deer Program Manager”

If you want to see what is presented at the meeting, thanks to modern technology, you can register ahead of time and watch a live audio/video stream of this meeting via Zoom.

To view via webinar register at:https://wlf-la.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_eS_ouxbARL64J-3RXVuRbg

More to come, I’m sure!

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