Wildlife Officials Propose New Length Limit For Bass Fishing


Tuesday, November 30th 2021, 10:01 pm



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The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation is wanting to change the length limits for catching large and smallmouth bass.

Instead of harvesting six fish bigger than 14 inches, you would still be able to harvest six fish, but only one bigger than 16 inches.

The department says when you protect the larger fish, you end up with more quality-sized fish.

Josh Johnston with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation says research from the past 20 to 30 years shows a large number of small bass in Oklahoma lakes and reservoirs.

"You look at this and say how do we push this past; how do we get these fish to this level and more of them to this level and the way is harvest, and harvest of smaller fish and it's not harvesting as many on the top end," he said.

He says all of those fish are competing for the same resources, which is slowing the growth rate.

"If you start culling some of those out, and opening up those resources, you're going to grow a bigger fish," he said.

The department is proposing a change in the length limits.

Right now, you can catch six bass a day, all bigger than 14 inches.

They are proposing you can catch six a day, but only one over 16 inches, so all of the rest have to be smaller than that.

Johnston says there will be a tournament exemption.

"These tournament directors will be signing up for these exemptions and on the back end they will be giving us the data from the tournaments," he said.

Johnston says they've been working on this for years and think it will have positive benefits on bass fishing in Oklahoma.

"So if you catch that trophy fish, you can still take it home or if you just want to eat a big fish you can still take it home, it's going to be one fish over sixteen inches," he said.

They are asking for public comment. You can submit your comments on the proposed change, HERE.

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