Release Date: 02/07/2006

The Louisiana Lunker Bass Program (LLBP) got off to a great start for 2006 as the first largemouth bass was turned in to the program this past weekend.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has confirmed that a 14.43-pound largemouth bass was caught late Saturday evening on Feb. 4 on a shiner-baited trotline set by Forest Hill natives Earnest Johnson and Johnny Ray on Indian Creek Reservoir.   This lake is located just south of Alexandria in the Woodworth/Forest Hill area and is adjacent to the Booker Fowler Fish Hatchery (BFFH). 

This fish is very significant because it was a new lake record and second place isnt even close, said LDWF Inland Fisheries Hatchery Program Manager Robert Gough.  LDWF is pleased that the anglers decided to turn the fish into the LLBP to help promote and enhance the largemouth bass population in Louisiana.

Through the LLBP, which began in 1997, anglers can donate any legally caught largemouth bass over 12 pounds on Louisiana waters between Jan. 1 and April 30 to LDWF for spawning, exhibiting and research purposes.

For participating in the program, the anglers will receive a replica of their fish and a certificate of appreciation from LLBP.  The donated bass was transported to the BFFH for recuperation and later spawning.   The lunker is in excellent shape according to Gough.

Anyone who catches a largemouth bass that may qualify should go or call their nearest LDWF contact point or the Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511.  For more information please visit LDWFs Web site at www.wlf.louisiana.gov and then click on the Inland Fisheries under the Programs heading.  Then click on the Booker Fowler Fish Hatchery link on the left and finally clicking on the Lunker Bass Program link.

EDITORS: For more information, contact Robert Gough at 318-748-6948 or rgough@wlf.louisiana.gov.