If Morone mississippiensis and Thunnus obesus dont ring a bell, its of no surprise unless you are a fisheries biologist or a stickler for knowing the scientific names of Louisiana gamefish. Now on the other hand, if you are an avid freshwater angler you are probably familiar with the yellow bass (Morone mississippiensis), a game panfish, popular in some areas. If you are an avid deep-water angler, you are likely to have run across a big-eye tuna (Thunnus obesus) along with its cousins, the blue, black and yellowfin tuna.
The Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association (LOWA) Fish Records Committee recently added these two species at its fall board meeting to the list of species eligible for entry into the Louisiana State Fish Records. As of Feb. 1, 2006, applications will be accepted for these two new species.
Each year the LOWA Fish Records Committee selects a new species in both the freshwater and saltwater divisions for addition to the records. This process was introduced in 2004 after numerous requests by anglers to add species to the records list. Some of the criteria for selection include gamefish status, species specifically targeted rather than just by-catch, along with many other considerations. Anglers interested in submitting a new species for consideration may do so by writing to the Fish Records Committee at the address listed below or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
LOWAs Fish Records Committee also announced major revisions to the present rod and reel and fly-fishing applications. Multiple length and girth measurements are no longer required, however greater detail is now required in filing applications in a timely manner and providing more personal information in the form of email addresses and permission to use digital photos for electronic publication. Hard copies of photos or digital printouts will be required to be sent with the application along with an e-mailed jpeg file picture of the angler with equipment used and the fish to email@example.com. If computer access is unavailable, hardcopy prints of the angler, equipment used and catch can be substituted for digital print files, but must be mailed with application.
The applicant will also be required to submit the new check off rules page along with the information section of the application.
The new applications will be available mid-February 2006. Applications for both rod and reel and fly fishing will be downloadable from the LOWA Web site at laoutdoorwriters.com. Old applications prior to 2006 will be accepted for a limited period.
The Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association (LOWA) is a non-profit organization of professional outdoor writers and journalists following the principles of educating the citizens of Louisiana about preservation and conservation of our states natural resources. LOWA has been the official curator of the Louisiana State Fish Records since the 1940s. Interested individuals should contact LOWA through its Web site at www.laoutdoorwriters.com.