A couple of months back when the Louisiana Legislature opened session, Senate Bill 369 regarding limits for crappie and just who could set those limits on Lake D’Arbonne was creating quite a stir among area sportsmen. Since that time, it’s been pretty quiet down there, so I began wondering if the bill had been speared by a cormorant; floated up and washed over the spillway; or if it just swam out into deeper water never to be seen again.
Come to find out, Senate Bill 369 has successfully and quietly passed through the legislature and has swum into the Governor’s livewell, waiting for him to sign it into law. I fully expect that to happen and it to be implemented. There will be no noticeable change or impact to anglers. The daily creel for crappie on D’Arbonne Lake will remain at 50 per day. Possession limit for crappie on D’Arbonne Lake will remain at 100 per day.
This bill does, at least, return authority for regulation of D’Arbonne Lake crappie to the LA Wildlife & Fisheries Commission, but it requires increased criteria to the process of change for same. So, before the Wildlife & Fisheries Commission change crappie regulations on D’Arbonne, it is legally required that “the department must have conducted sampling, collected and analyzed data on the fisheries resources of Lake D’Arbonne and the sampling, data, and analysis demonstrate that the fisheries resource is being negatively impacted, and the department recommends the change.”
Excuse me, but my experience has been that is what the LDWF does anyway before it sets regulations and make recommendations on limits and seasons. But I guess it sounds better now after going through the whole legislative process for two years which ended up with the rules and regulations right back where they were when this started.
This basically means that at least the LDWF will set limits, not elected officials. It also means that we won’t see a 25-fish per day (50 possession limit) unless the fishing gets bad enough to warrant it. And by then, biologically, it will basically be too late – we will already have a problem. I have already stated my opinion on this. There isn’t data today showing that a lower limit is needed. But it probably wouldn’t hurt to lower the limit to 25 and 50 anyway, just to give the proactive appearance that we were doing the best we could to protect this fisheries resource that is under growing pressure each year.
If you want to take a look at where it stands now, awaiting the Governor’s signature, go here: