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January 02, 2009

Mississippi's minimum size limit on spotted seatrout 13 inches - for now...

The controversy started last spring when the legal size was lowered from 14 to 13 inches

Should Mississippi keep the minimum length of spotted seatrout at 13 inches and risk damaging the stock or raise it and restrict anglers catch potential? That ongoing debate among wildlife officials and fishermen continues to be a hot topic.

The controversy started last spring when the legal size was lowered from 14 to 13 inches despite data from marine biologists that the move could cause a negative impact on the resource.

To be sure, anglers are catching more fish, including large numbers of 13 inch trout. Some conservation groups view the rule change as "legalized slaughter" of a valuable resource and urge fishermen to keep only the 14 inch fish until more data is collected. Stay tuned!