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Black Bass Slot Limit Changed on Lewis Smith Reservoir

May 27, 2005

Beginning June 1, 2005, the slot limit for black bass (spotted and largemouth bass) on Lewis Smith Reservoir will be modified from the current limit of 13 to 16-inches to 13 to 15-inches.  This change, announced by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, is intended to improve the quality of the black bass population.

On October 1, 1995, a 13 to 16-inch slot limit was implemented on black bass in Lewis Smith Reservoir.  The goals of the slot limit were to: 1) improve size structure of the bass population, 2) reduce the number of bass less than 13 inches, 3) increase the number of bass between 13 and 16 inches and 4) increase the number of bass greater than 16  inches.

Bass population monitoring conducted by fisheries biologists has shown that the spotted bass population has responded well to the slot limit.  There has been a positive shift in the spotted bass population towards larger fish.  Spotted bass comprise approximately 65 percent of the black bass in Lewis Smith Reservoir.  The largemouth bass population has slightly improved.

A public meeting sponsored by the Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries was held in Cullman, Alabama, on March 3, to discuss findings of bass sampling and to solicit public comment on the bass management in Lewis Smith Reservoir.  Data analysis revealed a reduction of the slot limit to 13 to 15 inches would maintain the goals of the slot limit and allow bass over 15 inches to be harvested.  There was heavy public support for this change.  For the slot limit to continue to restructure the bass population, anglers will need to remove bass less than 13-inches.  If you have any questions, please contact Keith Floyd at the District I Fisheries office, 256-353-2634.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Parks, State Lands, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries.


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