Tallahassee, FL -June 20,2012-
The fishing regulations at Lake Jackson are changing because of a recent drought.
About a third of the 4,000-acre lake on the north end of Tallahassee has evaporated within the last five years.
The drought is part of a natural occurrence at the lake biologists say has been going on for tens of thousands of years.
"It's simply the severe drought cycle we've been in," says biologist Michael Hill.
Hill says the drought has caused the lake's water levels drop below normal. That's causing the Florida Wildlife Commission to temporally suspend some fishing regulations.
"Whenever Mother Nature reacts to these droughts and the fish are concentrated the animals benefit ... But there was more fish than animals so now the human animals get a chance to collect some fish too," says Hill.
Fishermen can now catch up to five largemouth bass of any size. They can also use dip nets or their hands while fishing. And you can walk along the lake's bottom, unless you're in ATV or car. It's news locals in the area like Bob Poppell welcome.
"These little ponds like we see just right over there, they're going to go dry. Any fish that's in there is going to die. So why not let the public have them?," says Poppell.
Hill says after several good 4 to 6 inch rains, the lake's water level will be back to normal.