LDWF Announces New Speckled Trout Limits for Louisiana Anglers


LDWF Announces New Speckled Trout Limits for Louisiana Anglers

After four years of heated debate over whether or not to reduce the catch limits on what is unarguably Lousiana’s most popular fish, The LDWF has announced new rules that will take effect on November 20, 2023. These changes mark the first time since the 1980s that speckled trout limits have been changed.

The new speckled trout size and daily creel limits go into effect on November 20 and will be enforced.

The new regulations are as follows:

  • Size limit: The size limit has been changed from 12 inches to 13 inches. Only two fish included within the daily creel limit can be greater than 20 inches total length.
  • Daily Creel: Before the new rules anglers kept 25 speckled trout per day. After the rule change they will only be able to keep 15 per angler per day.
  • In what is possibly the most controversial change, charterboat guides and crew will not be able to retain a creel limit while on a charter trip but may engage in fishing.

The rules have been at the head of heated discussion and debate at the state’s Wildlife and Fisheries Commission. Louisiana Charter captains have objected to raising the minimum size limit stating that their customers will struggle to catch enough fish for the day without their help.

LDWF said the changes are necessary to improve the speckled trout stock in Louisiana

In 2019 the department released its results from numerous studies taken from 2014 – 2018.

– Trout have been overfished since 2014
– The vast majority of trout caught last year were barely mature fish

– Recreational landings are their lowest level ever in recorded history
– Spawning stock biomass is at its lowest level ever
– Female spawning recruitment is at its lowest level ever

The new regulations are scheduled to “sunset” at midnight, Jan. 1, 2028 and LDWF staff are required to provide an up-to-date stock assessment before the commission’s April 2027 meeting. This update assessment will provide the commission an opportunity to modify the regulations, if needed, before the sunset in 2028.


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