The following is a news release from The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is gearing up to host the first annual Louisiana Saltwater Series. The inaugural series was developed by LDWF in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation to promote the conservation of Louisiana's saltwater sport fish resources, through six tag and release redfish tournaments. The first tournament will be held in Lafitte, LA on March 6, 2010, at the SeaWay Marina.
"The first annual Louisiana Saltwater Series is one of the most exciting new things to come out of our department and I am proud to be a small part of this endeavor," said LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina. "Not only are anglers given the chance to win cash prizes, but they will also help collect critical data for state and university biologists in this live tag and release tournament. I encourage everyone to sign-up and help showcase the nation's best fishing."
Sport fishing tournaments have a long tradition on the coastal waters of Louisiana, but most of these tournaments are privately sponsored. This new, innovative venture provides a competitive angling opportunity to a broader audience. The tournaments are not just for big name fishermen but open to all interested anglers. Through this catch-and-release saltwater fishing series, LDWF strives to enhance the resource while providing a competitive opportunity for avid fishermen and newcomers alike.
Participation in the tournaments provides anglers with the opportunity to give back to the resource. LDWF personnel will be on hand at each tournament to assist with the tag and release of all fish. Data collected from tournament entries will serve as a valuable tool for LDWF fisheries managers and biologists to improve their understanding of marine sport fish movements, patterns of habitat use and estimate population size.
"Fish tagging can yield a wealth of information," explained Pausina. "Years ago, most tagging was done by scientists or trained biologists, but today recreational anglers are encouraged to join the effort as volunteers. Volunteer anglers provide information that is difficult, often impossible, and very expensive to obtain by other means."
Contestants will vie for cash prizes and test their skill, while enjoying the thrill of the competitive sport. In order to participate in the series, each team must submit an application and a $200 entry fee for each event, which covers a two-man team. A third team member may be eligible if under 16 years of age.
"We hope that these events will again create enthusiasm for fishing in Louisiana and will unite anglers and their families in this recreational pastime," said Pausina. "This event has the potential to create a long lasting tradition, and a great source of competition and entertainment."