LDWF partners with LWFF to kick off tag and release tournament

The following is a news release from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries:

The inaugural Louisiana Saltwater Series Fishing Tournament, hosted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation (LWFF), will open March 6, 2010, in Lafitte, LA at the SeaWay Marina.  Avid anglers and newcomers alike are invited to participate in this one-of-a-kind tag and release redfish tournament.

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.

Participation in this grassroots tournament 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.

"We are pleased to be part of this landmark event," said LWFF Executive Director Kell McInnis.  "The Foundation is always in search of new and creative opportunities to support the department and the resources they manage."

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.

The 2010 series is comprised of five tournaments and one championship event as follows: March 6 Lafitte, LA, SeaWay Marina; April 3 Dularge, LA, Falgout Canal Marina; June 12 Delacroix, LA, Sweet Water Marina; July 10 Empire, LA, Delta Marina; September 11, Slidell, LA The Dock; Championship October 8 and 9 Empire, LA Delta Marina.

All tournament proceeds will go to the LWFF and provide funding support for the department's tagging program.  Costs incurred by the event are funded through grants, sponsorships and entry fees.

For complete information, including rules, regulations and entry forms go to: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/lasaltwaterseries/.