May 30, 2012 -- On Saturday, May 26, over 30 young anglers converged at Myrtle Grove Marina for the first annual Louisiana Saltwater Series youth tournament. The tournament gave these young anglers the opportunity to watch their catch get tagged and released, thus becoming part of the ongoing Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Cooperative Sport Fish Tagging Program.
Recreational anglers are increasingly conscious of the need to conserve the fish they love to pursue. More and more tournaments are adopting an all-release format, including the Louisiana Saltwater Series, which was founded on conservation-based principles. One of the primary goals of the youth tournament is to pass this mentality along to the next generation.
Thirty-seven fish were tagged and released by the young anglers, including redfish, spotted seatrout, black drum and sheepshead.
“It’s fun for the kids to get out and fish,” said LDWF Program Manager Danica Williams. “There are so many tournaments out there for adults, but not many hands-on opportunities for kids, especially with regard to tag and release fishing. This is one way to get kids out fishing and learning a lifelong skill.”
The event drew in more than 30 kids, ages 4 to 13. Participants received a t-shirt plus lots of fishing goodies to take home.
“This is the first time we’ve hosted a youth tournament, so any number of entrants was a record for us,” explained Williams. “However, the number of kids pre-registered for our next youth tournament already exceeds this weekend’s total.”
Winners include: Michael Schieble, 1st place overall and redfish; Caleb Hooter, 1st place trout; Campbell Barcelona, 1st place black drum; and Trevor Logrande, 1st place sheepshead.
The LASS plans to host another youth tournament in conjunction with Free Fishing Weekend on Saturday, June 9 at Elmer’s Island from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, visit www.lasaltwaterseries.com .
The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov  on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb  or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
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