The Louisiana Saltwater Series will soon return to the Gulf Coast for the tournament’s second year. Hosted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), the series is dedicated to catch-and-release saltwater angling through a series of agency-sponsored fishing tournaments.
The series was developed by LDWF in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation to promote conservation of Louisiana’s saltwater sport fish resources, including one of Louisiana’s most valuable sport fish, redfish.
“This series is a critical part of ensuring the health and future of our natural resources and the coastal economy because it promotes the management and preservation of our redfish stocks for future generations,” LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina said.
Each series includes two-man teams with a $200 entry fee for each event. For teams consisting of three members, only two of the members may be 16 or older. The tournament is a 100 percent payout series. There is a 90 percent payout for the first six events with 10 percent retained for the championship. Payout is determined separately for each event based upon the total number of boats entered.
Participants may register online for the tournament at http://www.lasaltwaterseries.com/.
This year, a youth division was established to introduce young anglers to the sport of fishing, and to teach the catch-and-release approach to conservation. Participants under 16 years of age will compete against one another in a separate category for trophy catch; all youth anglers will be recognized.
Data collected from tournament entries serve as valuable tools for LDWF fisheries managers and biologists to improve their understanding of marine sport fish movements, patterns of habitat use and estimate population size. Since 2004, over 15,000 redfish have been tagged through Louisiana’s Cooperative Marine Sport Fish Tagging Program.
“Fish tagging can yield a wealth of information. Years ago, most tagging was done by scientists or trained biologists, but today recreational anglers are encouraged to join the effort as volunteers,” explained Pausina. “Utilizing volunteer taggers allows us to tag a greater number of fish from a wider geographic area.”
In last year’s series alone, anglers tagged a total of 380 fish. The recapture rate from the Slidell tournament was as high as 21 percent. Overall weight determined last year’s winners, with Richard Rutland taking home the monster catch of the series, a 9.66 lb red drum.
The 2011 series is comprised of six fishing events and a championship. Tournament locations are scheduled across the coast. The 2011 tournament schedule is as follows:
- April 2 – Lafitte, Seaway Marina
- April 30 – Lake Calcasieu, Calcasieu Point Landing
- May 14 – Venice, Venice Marina
- June 18 – Delacroix, Sweetwater Marina
- July 23 – Slidell, Dockside Bait and Tackle/The Dock
- Aug. 20 – Port Fourchon, Moran’s Marina
- Oct. 7-8 – Championship, Empire, The Delta Marina
Sponsorships for the Saltwater Series are still available. All sponsorship dollars will go towards the cost of planning, production and prize money.
For complete information, including rules, regulations and entry forms go to http://www.lasaltwaterseries.com/.