Lunker Bass Program Benefits Fisheries and Anglers
With the spring
spawn in progress, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and
Fisheries wants to remind bass anglers of the benefits of
the Louisiana Lunker Bass Program (LLBP).
Through this program,
anglers can donate a 12-pound or greater largemouth bass to
LDWF for spawning, exhibiting or research purposes. Any angler
who legally catches a largemouth bass weighing at least 12
pounds between Dec. 1, 2004 and April 30, 2005 in Louisiana
waters, and is willing to donate his or her fish to the program,
will receive a free replica of the fish and a certificate
of appreciation from the LLBP, following acceptance by LDWF
personnel. All donated lunker bass are held at the Booker
Fowler Fish Hatchery (BFFH) in Forest Hill. After the spawning
period, hatchery personnel move the bass to an exhibit aquarium
located at BFFH's Visitors Center.
LDWF will stock
any fingerlings produced by the lunker fish into the lake
from which the parent came.
For a largemouth
bass to be accepted into the program, an angler must sign
a statement stating that the fish was legally caught in Louisiana
and that all rights of use and ownership to the fish will
be transferred to LDWF. Department personnel will transport
qualified fish to the hatchery.
Anyone who catches
a largemouth bass that might qualify should keep the fish
in fresh, aerated water, avoid holding the fish only by its
jaw or with dry hands, use a net to move the fish from one
container to another, if necessary, and contact LDWF within
12 hours of capture to arrange to have the fish picked up.
Calls can be placed to LDWF's toll-free Operation Game Thief
Hotline at 1-800-442-2511 (which is printed on the back of
the basic recreational fishing license). Enforcement Division
dispatchers will place the caller in contact with the nearest
Inland Fisheries biologist.
information on the Lunker Bass Program, call Booker Fowler
Fish Hatchery at (318) 748-6914 or visit the LDWF website
and click on "Lunker Bass Program" under "What's
New" on the site home page.
The LLBP began
in 1997 as a cooperative effort between LDWF, Southern Pride
Bass Club (SPBC) and the Association of Louisiana Bass Clubs
(ALBC) to promote and enhance the largemouth bass fisheries
in the state of Louisiana. The funding for this program came
from the proceeds of a benefit bass tournament sponsored by
SPBC and the ALBC in memory of Nookie Diaz. These proceeds
were donated to the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation
and dedicated for the enhancement of the Florida largemouth
bass in our state fish hatchery system.