Largemouth Bass in the Atchafalaya Basin

A recent LDWF evaluation determined that the 14” minimum size limit for bass in the Atchafalaya Basin, Lake Verret, Lake Palourde, and Fausse Pointe Lake is not effective in increasing the abundance of large size bass. For the full evaluation, visit HERE.

Results from the study indicate that growth and life span of Atchafalaya Basin bass are more heavily influenced by environmental factors than by anglers. Anglers release small fish with the expectation that they will grow larger with age. In the Atchafalaya Basin, there is no guarantee conditions will be favorable for their development. Basin anglers have been releasing bass since 1992, only to see them become victims of storm after storm.

Anglers in the Atchafalaya Basin will continue to catch the same number of nice size bass with or without any length limit. Therefore, our technical staff does not consider length regulations to be beneficial for the Atchafalaya Basin, Lake Verret, Lake Palourde and Fausse Pointe Lake.

Atchafalaya Basin anglers currently catch more bass due to the 14” minimum length limit because most bass are protected from harvest. It is important to understand that removal of the 14” minimum length limit would increase bass harvest and decrease the number of available bass for anglers to catch. A temporary reduction in creel limit could moderate the change, but environmental factors will eventually determine the number of bass available to anglers in the Atchafalaya Basin.

The Atchafalaya Basin is one of the most popular fisheries in Louisiana. Therefore, any regulation change will directly impact thousands of anglers. Your comments and opinions will provide valuable insight into angler preferences toward bass management in the Atchafalaya Basin.

Please take the time to share them with us.