To promote Louisiana fishing, stocking some lakes with catfish is being done to draw those who fish to the state.
In a push to make people aware of Louisiana’s natural beauty and delicious resources, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries stocked 17 state ponds with adult channel catfish this month. Most of the ponds are located in parks with parking, bathrooms, playgrounds and other facilities that make fishing accessible to novices, people without boats and families with small children. “The point of the ‘Get Out and Fish’ program is the immediate satisfaction of catching these fish and bringing them home to clean, cook and have for dinner,” said Danica Williams, biologist program manager for fisheries outreach and education at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries. The program stocks Louisiana freshwater inland ponds ranging from 2 to 10 acres in size with 1-pound catfish at a rate of about 200 pounds of catfish per acre. The fish come from Bait Barn Fisheries in Texas and “get taken out quickly,” Williams said. Blue gill and bass also populate the ponds. At the end of January or in early February, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries will stock the ponds with adult rainbow trout from Missouri.nola.com
The effort is being funded by the federal government through the Sport Fish Restoration Fund.
Federally funded by the Sport Fish Restoration Program, the community fishing initiative started in 2014 with Girard Park in Lafayette. Since then, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries has added one or two fishing sites a year across Louisiana, including Joe Brown Memorial Park in New Orleans, Bogue Chitto State Park in Franklinton, Sidney Hutchinson Park in Walker and BREC’s Burbank Park in Baton Rouge. Each site also features education events and fishing contests. “We want to make it as easy as possible for folks to go catch fish,” Williams said. “We know what we have here in Louisiana, and we hope folks don’t take it for granted. By showing them what we have available here, we can help people become good stewards of the environment. The more you use something, the more you care about it.” For more information, visit the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries website. Community fishing sites are: BREC’s Burbank Soccer Complex, Baton Rouge, Bayou Country Sports Park, Houma, Bogue Chitto State Park, Franklinton, Elmore D. Mayfield Park, Ruston, Forts Randolph and Buhlow State Historic Site, Pineville, Girard Park, Lafayette, Grambling City Park Pond, Grambling, I-10 Park, Jennings, Joe Brown Park, New Orleans, Kiroli Park, West Monroe, Park Natchitoches, Natchitoches, Purple Heart Memorial Park Pond, Ragley, Sidney Hutchinson Park, Walker, Southside Regional Park, Fabacher Field, Turner’s Pond, Minden, William T. Polk City Park Pond, Vidalia and Zemurray Park, Hammond
Get out your rods and reels and go fishing!