Okay, we’ve got three important topics to hit today on lakedarbonnelife headline news: rising water, disappearing slot limits and a scare for deer hunters (Note to readers: This should not be confused with national “fake” headline news. This is all real).
First, rising water, namely on Lake D’Arbonne. It isn’t going to get as bad as before, but the lake is up a couple of feet and it’s a bit of a worry for owners of low lying property and visitors for next week’s Crappie Masters Louisiana State Championship. Right now, it looks like the lake is about to crest and start falling. There is a forecast of more rain the next week, but hopefully it won’t be enough to turn that trend around. One thing that has helped us is the fact that Lake Claiborne has been six to seven feet low and much of the water that would come here from the north is staying in the Homer lake.
Here’s a look at D’Arbonne Monday afternoon. As you can see, the lake is at 81.71, almost two feet above the normal pool of 80 feet. The purple line is the projected fall over the next few days (You can check this chart daily on this page under the “Area Lake and River level” tab under Blogroll).
Now, for the disappearing slot. Caney Lake is the best known trophy bass lake in Louisiana, hands-down. One reason it’s been that way is a stringent slot limit for bass that can be kept. State fisheries biologists determined that the slot isn’t really making much difference because fishermen aren’t keeping many bass any size.
But the change in the regulation may have the surprise effect of having the lake see a lunker sized increase in the number of fishermen here, tournaments there and overall bass fishing pressure. That could be a bad thing for the relatively small lake. We’ll just
have to wait and see. In any case, here’s the latest word from the LDWF Monday on Caney and it’s former slot limit:
“Regulations for black bass on Caney Creek Reservoir in Jackson Parish will change on Tuesday, February 20, 2018. The existing slot limit will be rescinded and replaced with statewide regulations for the species, which is 10 fish daily creel limit with no length restrictions.
The protected slot limit was initially adopted as part of an effort to increase the production of trophy bass. Following a 3-year comprehensive assessment, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists determined length limit regulations have little impact upon the fishery, primarily due to the high rate of voluntary catch-and-release fishing by Caney bass anglers.”
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And finally, something that could be bad news for deer hunters. There was a controversial change in the way that Louisiana hunters could legally bring out of state deer home with them this year based on fear of chronic wasting disease. A deer has been found just across the Mississippi River from north Louisiana that died from this. Here’s the word today from the LDWF on this worrisome issue:
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is monitoring the discovery of a white-tailed deer found dead with chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Issaquena County, Miss., which borders East Carroll and Madison parishes in northeast Louisiana. CWD is infectious and always fatal in deer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention there is no evidence that CWD can infect humans.
LDWF encourages landowners in East Carroll, Madison and Tensas parishes to curtail supplemental feeding of deer as a means to limit concentration and spread of the disease. According to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks (MDWFP) a 4-year-old free-ranging buck, that appeared to be emaciated, was found dead on Jan. 25. It tested positive for CWD on Jan. 29 at the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa. As part of its response, the MDWFP has banned supplemental feeding in Issaquena, Claiborne, Hinds, Sharkey, Warren and Yazoo counties. This is the first case of CWD documented in Mississippi, which becomes the 25 th state to confirm the presence of the disease.
LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet said LDWF is coordinating with MDWFP for sampling and containment measures. Deer infected with CWD can spread the disease even before symptoms develop. It can take one to two years for infected animals to become symptomatic. When symptoms appear, they can include emaciation, lethargy, abnormal behavior and loss of bodily functions. Other signs include excessive salivation, loss of appetite, progressive weight loss, excessive thirst and urination, teeth grinding and drooping ears.
LDWF has tested more than 8,300 deer since 2002 and has not detected CWD. LDWF is coordinating with MDWFP for sampling and containment measures. Deer routinely swim the Mississippi River, often to escape floodwaters.