July 19, 2012 -- Participants in the 2nd Annual Louisiana Women in the Wild Program were able to test their fishing skills during two June weekend trips to Grand Isle presented by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF’s) and Cabela’s.
Thirty ladies, chosen by lottery drawing, experienced a variety of saltwater fishing activities on the weekends of June 8 and 29 under the direction of LDWF’s Education Section and Fisheries Extension Office. Each participant had previously attended the Fishing Basics Workshop at Cabela’s Gonzales location on April 21.
The ladies began their weekend on Friday evening at LDWF’s Marine Research Lab on Grand Isle where they learned to rig and bait their own rod and reels and fish from the dock at the lab.
On Saturday, they were taken on an inshore fishing excursion that provided the opportunity to catch fish, clean their own catch in preparation for cooking, and then grill or fry the fish. Each group learned the significance of collecting data to be used for Louisiana’s sport fish resource management, getting hands-on fish tagging experience for the cooperative tagging program. Data gathering techniques included measuring each fish and collecting otoliths, which are ear bones used to age fish for stock assessment. The full day of activities also included a tour of the research lab and a flounder gigging trip late Saturday night.
On Sunday morning, participants were given the choice of inshore boat fishing or surf fishing. All who caught fish then cleaned their catch and packed for the trip home, each a more knowledgeable, independent fisherwoman.
The Louisiana Women in the Wild Program teaches the basics of hunting and fishing to women who have not had the opportunity to learn the skills they need to confidently participate in those activities. The program consists of a one-day workshop that covers the basic skills needed to hunt or fish. The participants then have the opportunity to put their new skills to use on a hunting or fishing trip. During the hunting or fishing trips, the participants are accompanied by an experienced LDWF staff member who serves as a guide and extends the learning experience into the field.
The next scheduled Louisiana Women in the Wild Workshop will feature “Hunting Basics” and is scheduled for Aug. 25, 2012 at the Waddill Outdoor Education Center in Baton Rouge. To register for the Aug. 25 workshop, contact Christine Pocorello at firstname.lastname@example.org  or visit http://www.cabelas.com/stores . For more information on the Louisiana Women in the Wild Program, contact Karen Crabtree at 318- 766-8144 or email@example.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.