Fishing on the Toledo Bend Reservoir and the Sabine River just got a little bit easier.
Authorities from Lousiiana and Texas have authorized changes to the regulations on fish size and creel along the river and in the reservoir, unifying the regulations between the two states. The changes take full effect Sept. 15.
The new regulations include adjustments of the creel limits and sizes of largemouth bass, spotted bass, catfish and crappies, among other species in the lake.
Rep. James Armes (D-Leesville) said that for years, confusion existed among those fishing on Toledo Bend because of the different regulations in the two states.
“Texas always had their rules, and we had ours,” Armes said, noting that many people would travel between fishing spots in the two states and not know that crossing state lines (not easily identifiable on the lake) also meant that the limits had changed.
Armes said that there had been previous attempts to get the two sides together and unify regulations, but those attempts failed.
“Everyone tried to get them together, but it never got done,” he said. “We were able to get them together and iron everything out.”
Armes created a bill in 2010 that urged the Sabine River Authorities of Louisiana and Texas to come together and develop a unified set of regulations for the reservoir. Public hearings were held in April as part of the process.
The changes take effect Sept. 15, when the law takes effect in Texas. The changes affect not only Toledo Bend, but the Sabine River from Toledo Bend Dam to the Interstate 10 bridge.
The changes include:
-Largemouth bass: daily creel limit of eight fish, minimum total length of 14 inches
-Spotted bass: Daily creel limit of eight fish, no minimum length limit
-Striped bass (Sabine River): Daily creel limit of five fish, no minimum length limit, no more than two ` ` fish may be over 30 inches in length
-White bass: Daily creel limit of 25 fish, no minimum length limit
-Yellow bass: No limit on daily take
-Black crappie, white crappie: Daily creel limit of 25 fish, no minimum length limit
-Channel catfish, blue catfish: Daily creel limit of 50 fish, no minimum length limit, no more than five fish may exceed 20 inches in length
-Flathead catfish: Daily creel limit of 10 fish, minimum length limit of 18 inches
Source: Leesville Daily Leader