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Summary Of The New Black Bass Regulation

For black bass (includes smallmouth, largemouth, and spotted bass) taken on a river or stream, a person will be able to keep only those that are under 12 inches and over 15 inches in length, with a daily aggregate bag limit of 5, and no more than 2 can be over 15 inches in length, with the following exceptions:

–          The rivers and streams in the counties that border the Ohio River (these are named in the rule) will have the same 12” size limit as they have now, with an aggregate bag limit of 5 black bass.

–          The Blue River in Crawford, Harrison, and Washington counties will still have the 12-15” slot limit and bag limit like it has now

–          The size limit on the Ohio River mainstream (not bays and tributaries) is still 12” for black bass with a daily bag limit of 6.

Here’s some background:

The purpose of the rule change is to provide increased protection for black bass populations and thereby potentially increase the quality of bass fishing opportunities in certain rivers and streams. These proposed changes are in response to public concerns regarding harvest pressure on smallmouth bass through the Natural Resources Commission’s Comprehensive Rule Enhancement Project. The Natural Resources Advisory Council, Indiana Sportsmen’s Roundtable, and several other anglers supported a rule change to further restrict the taking of black bass, especially smallmouth, in order to provide a larger number of bass for anglers in the future.  The protection for black bass that are twelve (12) to fifteen (15) inches long is intended to limit harvest of these bass that have the highest reproductive potential. Anglers can keep black bass that are less than twelve inches in length and over fifteen inches in length in accordance with the bag limit.

This rule change also doesn’t change the existing regulations on lakes or reservoirs.  There will be no impact to Ohio River bass fishermen (including tournament fishermen) or lake and reservoir fishermen (including tournament fishermen)

Black Bass Final Rule – 2012