Kids virtual fishing rodeo set for free-fishing weekend

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School’s out for the summer, and, for the 15-and-younger anglers among us, there will be no better way to celebrate than entering the June 10-11 Virtual Youth Fishing Rodeo.

It comes on our state’s Free Fishing Weekend — you can fish anywhere in our state without a fishing license. This is the third year the Southeast Louisiana National Wildlife Refuges folks are holding this event.

It doesn’t matter how small or large a youngsters catch — the fish must meet the state’s minimum size limits — because there’s no rule for measuring or weighing a fish.

Best of all, there’s no fee.

  • The rules are simple:
  • Must be 15 or younger;
  • Fishing times are sunrise to sunset both June 10 and June 11;
  • Get someone to take a photo of your catch;
  • Each young angler needs to create a sign that says #GetYourFishOn2023 or #GeauxFish2023 and display it in the photo of their catch;
  • Send the photo of the young fisher holding their catch with the sign to the refuge’s special email address:, or to the SLNW Refuges Complex Facebook page @Southeast Louisiana in a direct message utilizing Facebook messenger.
  • Photos must be submitted by 4 p.m. Monday June 12.

Prize winners will be selected randomly and be announced June 16.

If your young angler doesn’t have a fishing pole, the refuge has some to loan at its Lacombe office. To reserve a loaner pole, call (985) 882-2015.

Renewing licenses

Wildlife and Fisheries began a program to allow for a 365-day renewal for fishing and hunting licenses under new regulations passed in 2022, but only if you selected to have your licenses scheduled for “auto renew” when you bought them last year.

The LDWF Licensing Office indicated “auto-renew license holders will receive an email reminder 30 days and seven days in advance of the renewal date.”

Licenses holders who entered this program should log into their profile to verify their personal and payment information at the LDWF website:

The program also allows auto-renew license holders to opt out by logging into the same website, and the Licensing Office announced, “Once the renewal has been processed, your new license lasts 365 days. A refund will not be provided after the renewal is processed.”

If you didn’t

If you bought a license in the old system, the July1-June 30 licensing structure, then LDWF offices around the state will be open to walk-ins beginning next week. You will be able to buy licenses and, if you choose, to go into the auto-renew plan. Need more, then call (225) 765-2887 or (225) 765-2898.

And, remember to donate to our state’s Hunters for the Hungry program when you buy licenses. There’s a checkoff to donate as much as you wish to help defray the costs of H4H operations that cover handling fish donations and processing for donations of deer and feral hogs.

If you need more info about H4H, email executive director Julie Grunewald:

Red snapper

Yes, the new seven-days-a-week recreational red snapper season opened Friday, but if you’re hiring a federally permitted charterboat to catch the three-per-day limit, you’ll have to wait for the June 1 opening day. The for-hire, reef-fish permit is scheduled to run 85 days in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico. That’s 12:01 a.m. June 1 to 12:01 a.m. Aug. 25.

You should get this

If you’re a private recreational offshore fishermen or have an offshore boat targeting reef fish, you should take advantage of the offer for Return ’em Right equipment.

A consortium of university, state, federal and private groups put together this program offering offshore anglers a free $100 package designed to release species like red snapper and other reef fish to proper depths to better help the survival of what consortium scientists sau are 10 million reef fish caught and released in the Gulf of Mexico annually. These sponsors say using this equipment will help cut into the 1 million released fish that do not survive release because of barotrauma.

Barotrauma is the bloating/pressure of a fish’s internal organs when a fish is reeled from depths.

To date, the program has distributed more than 13,000 of three descending devices in each kit.

All you have to do is participate in what the campaign calls “a short online review of best practices anglers use to help reef fish survive.”

If you’re 18 and older, Google the Return ‘Em Right website, review best release practices, and receive a the package of release gear.

Gray triggerfish

A note to remind all offhsore anglers that the recreational season on gray triggerfish closes Thursday throughout the Gulf of Mexico. Another season is scheduled to run Aug. 1-Dec. 31

Cadets needed

The Wildlife and Fisheries’ Law Enforcement Division will accept up to 25 cadets for a Wildlife Agents academy class scheduled to begin in October. Applications will be taken through June 11.


About Mary Weyand 11096 Articles
Mary founded Scoop Tour with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research. With ample knowledge about the Automobile industry, she also contributes her knowledge for the Automobile section of the website.

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