Despite what Mother Nature had planned, 78 trout were caught and tagged during last weekend's inaugural Louisiana Saltwater Series Fall Trout Tournament on Lake Pontchartrain, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced.

High winds and threatening weather reduced the number of anglers participating in the catch-and-release tournament, but the fish didn't seem to mind the weather conditions.

The tournament is hosted by the LDWF and allows teams to bring extra fish to the weigh-in, thus increasing the total number of tagged fish.

Since its inception in 2004, more than 38,000 speckled trout have been tagged as part of Louisiana's Cooperative Marine Sport Fish Tagging Program, which has been a cooperative project of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Coastal Conservation Association for seven years.

However, tagging data on the species dates back to 1989.

Taking home the tournament's top prize were Kris Robert and Benny Sanchez, with a two-fish total weight of 5.64 pounds.

The Louisiana Saltwater Series will take the winter off before gearing up again in April of next year.  The 2012 tournament schedule will be published later this year at www.lasaltwaterseries.com.

Sponsorships for the 2012 series are still available.  The Louisiana Saltwater Series is a 100-percent payout series, and all sponsorship dollars will directly support the series and the conservation-based research it promotes.