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Lake life

New crappie Regs in effect on D’Arbonne

This took effect this past weekend and has been discussed on Facebook, but here is the official word from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries today in a news release.

New Regulations on Crappie in Effect on Bayou D’Arbonne Lake
Earlier this year, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission adopted a notice of intent to
modify crappie regulations on Bayou D’Arbonne Lake in Union Parish near the town of
Farmerville.
The new regulations took effect on November 20, limiting the daily take of crappie that
measure over 12 inches in length to seven per person. The total daily take remains 50 crappie
per person.
This change is an effort to increase the number of larger crappie in the population. It also has
the potential to improve the growth rate of crappie in Bayou D’Arbonne Lake, which was
identified as being below average in a recent assessment of the fishery. Improved growth rates
could be seen by directing angler harvest to the more abundant smaller size classes of crappie
in the lake.
The regulation will be fully evaluated after a minimum of three years to determine if it is
achieving desired results.
While the regulation alone could help reach the goals for Bayou D’Arbonne, LDWF also urges
anglers to use best practices when releasing crappie, especially those caught from depths
exceeding 20 feet during the winter months. Fish caught from these depths will often
experience barotrauma and may not be able to deflate their swim bladders, which prevents
them from swimming back down is often lethal to the fish. If a fish is going to be released, it is
advised to release that fish while it is still in the water if possible and minimize handling above
the surface. While “fizzing” or venting a fish with a hypodermic needle may be effective in
relieving barotrauma, LDWF strongly recommends this only be done by those who have been
properly trained on the technique, as it could cause more harm if done incorrectly.
Another ethical practice is not to cull deep caught crappie from a livewell, as these fish will
usually not be able to swim down on their own. LDWF urges all sportsmen to cooperate in
protecting our state’s unique and cherished wildlife and fisheries resources.”

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