Slot limits are based on the principle that bass populations exhibit different habitat requirements during different phases of their life histories. Slot limits focus on protecting one segment of the life history which can influence overall fishing success.
Ways to protect fish populations
When an angler is fishing, he or she must measure the fish caught to make sure it meets the state's wildlife and fisheries requirements. Every state has their own limits for fish that are native to their ecosystems. If the fish meets the requirements then the angler is allow to keep the fish, but can only keep a certain amount of fish of that species. Besides a Slot Limit there are other ways and limits that officials can use to protect a fish population.
Minimum size limits- important when higher levels of reproduction are required.
Creel Limits- used to prevent the harvest of too many fish at once, allowing more fish to reach larger sizes. Guist Creek Lake is an example of a lake that has decided that a creel limit was necessary for there native fish species.
Closed Seasons- used to help protect fish during their spawning seasons. If a given area puts a closed season into action an angler is not allowed to fish this area during specified times of the year.
Mode of action
Before a slot limit can be put into action, four things must be taken into consideration in order to make sure no harm is done to the ecosystem:
As a large mouth bass grows they must reach a certain size to enter the reproductive stage. These fish reproduce with more frequency during a certain age and weight in their lifespan.
The desired slot limit for large mouth bass
Growth rate can be defined as how long it takes for a fish to reach a given size. Even though growth rate differs from lake to lake, an average Largemouth Bass can grow up to 3 pounds in less than three years, which is considered rapid growth.
Recruitment is defined as the number of young fish that live to adulthood. Lakes with 20 to 40% coverage of aquatic plants usually have high bass recruitment, whereas lakes with little shoreline cover often have low to intermediate recruitment. If a lake has a high recruitment, this is a good situation for a state to use the slot limit because it will help control the number of small fish in a population. When the recruitment is low, this is where a state would use the minimum-size limit to control the fish population.
Mortality rate is the percent of fish in a given lake that die. To find the true mortality rate of a lake, officials must divide the number of fish harvested plus fish killed from hooks, then divide that number by the number of fish that die each year.
After the Growth Rate, Recruitment rate, and Mortality rate have been determined, if all three factors are met, the correct measurements must be chosen to insure that no harm is done to the surrounding ecosystem. If a Slot Limit is used correctly, not only will the a fish population benefit from this; but the surrounding ecosystem potentially could gain some benefits from a slot limit.
Slot Limits can be very beneficial to fish species along with their ecosystem. One benefit from slot limits is that it reduces the amount of competitive pressure between fish the same size. Not only will it reduce competition, but it will also result in a healthier fish population since the slot limit doesn't allow anglers to keep fish that produce the most eggs during their spawning season. Since the fish are healthier and larger, this will bring more jobs and tourists to a town, which will result in the city's revenue to rise.
Lake Fork Reservoir
Lake Fork Reservoir is most famously known for its trophy Largemouth Bass. This lake is located in Texas, and serves as a tributary to the Sabine River. This lake introduced a slot limit in the early 1900s in hopes of bettering their chances of catching a trophy bass. The regulations officials have chosen to go with are:
Largemouth bass are subject to a 16- to 24-inch slot limit.
Bass 16 inches and shorter and 24 inches and longer can be harvest.
daily bag limit of 5 fish
1 fish can be 24 inches or greater.
^ a b c "Louisiana Fisheries - Fact Sheets". Lsu.edu. Retrieved 2011-12-02.
^ a b c "Managing Bass Fisheries with Size Limits | The Ultimate Bass Fishing Resource Guide LLC". Bassresource.com. Retrieved 2011-12-02.
^ Richie White. "Lake Fork Bag Limits". Bassfishing.org. Retrieved 2011-12-04.
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