BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - A standing room only crowd at Tuesday's Commission on Marine Resources meeting heard much discussion about regulating speckled trout, but the CMR did not take action on any change in regulations.
"We really feel like there's a need for immediate action to do something about the decline of the speckled trout fishery. The science says it's happened and out members who fish say it's happened. And folks are upset about it," said Don Abrams, as he addressed the CMR on behalf of a local Saltwater Fly Fishing Club.
Commissioners are looking at tightening the regulations by increasing the minimum size, decreasing the bag limit or perhaps even considering seasonal closures of trout fishing. CMR heard plenty of input about the need to toughen trout regulations.
"The science tells us the bag limit doesn't matter much. It's the size limit," said David Wells.
Wells, an avid fisherman from Hancock County, says the first two weeks of this month, he spent every day on the water.
"I probably caught between four and five hundred speckled trout. I was catching them two at a time for over an hour, every morning," said Wells. "I had one keeper. And it barely made 13 inches. We have a lot of small fish."
Once the commission decides on proposed regulations, there will be a public comment period before a final vote is taken. A workshop will be held soon to come up with a regulatory recommendation.
"Let's have a workshop first, and then if we want to go out for a public meeting, we can do that," said DMR executive director, Jamie Miller, "We're certainly going to do it as part of any regulatory changes."
The CMR chairman has previously said that everything is on the table, from minimum size, to bag limits, to seasonal closures.
A date has not yet been set for the workshop.