A new largemouth bass harvest regulation is in effect on Lake Jackson, just north of Tallahassee. An angler on Jackson can now keep up to five bass a day, with one of the five bass exceeding 16 inches in length.

The old regulation on Lake Jackson prohibited anglers from keeping or harvesting smaller bass, most of which are male and now make up a large part of the lake’s bass population. The former rule also allowed the taking of largemouth bass over 18 inches, which are typically female “trophy fish” that bass anglers love to catch.

“The rule change will allow the needed harvest of some of these smaller bass,” said Chris Paxton, Regional Fisheries Biologist for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. “Allowing the harvest of these abundant smaller bass will reduce competition for the available forage. Increasing the abundance of food for fish that are 14, 15 and 16 inches will enable them to grow faster.”

Paxton said that the majority of the 419 anglers (96 percent) interviewed in 2011 who fished Lake Jackson supported a move to the current regulation.

Lake Jackson normally covers about 4,000 acres but currently is 2,000 acres. The water level is about 3 feet lower than historic full pool. As a result, access is limited to a few ramps and to those using smaller boats about 16 feet or less in length.

Currently, the best ramps are the ones at Crowder Road Landing and U.S. 27 (North Monroe Street). Some boat ramps, such as Miller Landing, may require the use of a four-wheel drive vehicle.

For more information on fishing regulations, go to MyFWC.com/Fishing and select “Freshwater Fishing.”

To learn about the TrophyCatch black bass conservation and angler-reward programs, go to MyFWC.com/Fishing and select “Freshwater Fishing” then click on the “Black Bass Management Plan” picture.

Logo courtesy Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

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