Ever heard of the old saying, “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it?” Sure you have and like most of us at least once you probably didn’t adhere to it and ended up creating a real problem that would have been better off left alone. There’s just something inside of us that thinks we can make things better, even when it comes to that master (or is it mistress?) of perfect design, Mother Nature.

The latest to fall victim is Louisiana District 83 Representative Robert Billiot (D). In his House Concurrent Resolution 75 he urges the LA Wildlife & Fisheries Commission to consider applying a slot limit of 16-21 inches for largemouth bass in Lake Cataouatche and portions of the Salvador WMA influence by the Davis Pond freshwater diversion.

Here is a portion of the resolution:

“WHEREAS, the area around Lake Cataouatche currently has a creel limit of ten bass with no size limits; and WHEREAS, it has been suggested that a creel limit of ten bass in conjunction with a slot limit of sixteen to twenty-one inches and a restriction to keep no more than one fish over the twenty-one inches would be a prudent management regime to apply to Lake Cataouatche and particularly those areas of the Salvador Wildlife Management Area such as the "tank ponds" and the "Netherlands".

My question is who exactly is this anonymous person or agency that has “suggested” that a slot limit would be “a prudent management regime?” My guess is it’s some of those shade tree biologists or possibly those wannabe pros who would forsake anything to catch a trophy bass, even a stable, productive fishery that satisfies the majority of anglers.

Of course at this point this is nothing more than an “urging” to consider the request.  At least it’s not an order to direct fisheries biologists as how to do their job.

Let’s look at this logically. A minimum amount of fingerling stockings and a basic catch limit that has had huge help from a diversion project that puts rich Mississippi River water into a brackish marsh has produced an area that now yields trophy class bass that has never been known for that. And with the Bassmaster Classic headed here next year, contestants are already licking their chops to give this area a shot. But will a slot limit produce even bigger fish? Maybe it would, but maybe it would not.  It would keep lots of anglers from keeping what they consider harvestable fish. It’ll also prevent tournament participants from bringing some weigh fish to the scales. For sure it’s total impact would be unknown. Mother Nature had the biggest hand in creating this big bass bonanza; it would be prudent to not try to improve on her work without a lot more knowledge than we have now. And good luck with a study --right now a scheduled electro-shocking project to inventory fish populations in that area has been called off due to budget cuts. Like I said don’t fix what ain’t broke - especially if you can’t afford the fix in the first place.