Tuesday, March 31, 2020

COVID-19 update: April activities cancelled or postponed

Yesterday, President Trump and members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force met with reporters and announced that federal guidelines such as social distancing will be extended across the country until at least April 30th.

Later, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that he is extending the state's stay-at-home order through the end of the month. He also hinted that they could remain in place into May unless the state turns the numbers on reducing the infections of coronavirus.

Needless to say, all regional fly fishing activities for April involving groups is cancelled or postponed.  The events that are postponed have been tentatively rescheduled for Fall dates.

The list of cancellations includes:
- our club meeting scheduled for April 16th
- Lafayette Kayak Fishing Club meeting
- Pack & Paddle fly tying and Fundamentals workshops
- Fly Fish Texas
- the Fly Fishers International Expo set for July (MT)

The list of postponed events includes:
- Reel Recovery retreat to White Lake
- Lake Athens Fly Fishing Festival  (TX)
- Mission 6 Fly Fishing Tournament (Pointe-aux-Chenes)
- Cenla Fly Fishing 101 (Kisatchie club, Forest Hill)

March events that were cancelled include: Sowbug Roundup (AR), Texas Fly Fishing & Brew Festival (TX), New Orleans City Park Big Bass Rodeo.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Inaugural Gulf Coast Sweetwater Classic this weekend!

The Fly Fishers International (FFI) Gulf Coast Council (GCC) will host their first-ever "Gulf Coast Sweetwater Classic" fly fishing tournament and festival this Friday and Saturday at Percy Quin State Park just five miles from McComb, Mississippi. 

The event marks a departure from the routine conclaves of past years, and joins the growing number of fly fishing tournaments, or events with a tournament component, that have become popular across the country.  Lake Tangipahoa inside Percy Quin offers fly anglers an opportunity for a trophy bass, as well as crappie over 2 pounds during March and April. 

Classic activities include: casting instruction and casting skills challenge, fly tying demos, Big Bream Contest (Friday afternoon) and the Sweetwater Classic Tournament (Saturday morning). The festival is FREE and admission to the park is free for attendees.

The Big Bream Contest entry fee is $5 cash (winner take all), and the Classic Tournament entry fee is $25 (register via iAngler). There’s also a “One Feather Fly Tying Contest” on Friday evening, and an “Iron Fly Tying” contest on Saturday afternoon.  Also, there's a fundraiser on Saturday with many great and one-of-a-kind items!

Anyone who registers for the tournament before Wednesday 11:59pm via the iAngler links is eligible for a drawing for $100 cash, to be drawn at the weigh-in. Must be present to win!

For complete details, including schedule, tournament rules, local lodging and restaurants, go to www.gulfcoastcouncilffi.org and click on the “Classic” page or any of the submenu items.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Big weekend ahead at Pack & Paddle

Pack & Paddle Beer & Gear Social
Friday, March 6th
5:30pm - 8:00pm

Demo Day at Vermillionville
Saturday, March 7th
10am - 2pm

Our friends at Pack & Paddle have a big weekend coming up! It kicks off Friday evening with their annual Beer & Gear Social at the store on 601 East Pinhook. Enjoy local brews provided by industry reps, talk paddling with reps and local paddlers, also fly casting with some of the fly fishing reps from TFO, Scott, Airflo, Freefly.

On Saturday, it's the big Spring Demo Day. Now expanded to include fly rod testing from Scott and TFO. Folks can also try out kayak and paddleboard models from Jackson, Hobie, Native, Bonafide, Hurricane, Swift, NuCanoe, Wenonah, BOTE and others. It's all FREE. There's also deals on selected boats at the demo.

For more info, go to www.packpaddle.com.

Monday, February 10, 2020

LDWF meeting on seatrout Thursday in Lafayette

A reminder that this Thursday, February 13th, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will hold a public meeting here in Lafayette on the future of spotted seatrout (speckled trout) management. The most recent stock assessment indicated spotted seatrout are overfished and undergoing overfishing and changes are necessary in order to recover the stock.

Location is the Lafayette Council Chambers on 705 West University Avenue.  Time is 6:00pm.  We need all conservation-minded anglers to attend and speak up in favor of new regulations that will bring back this once-great fishery.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Houston fly tying festival this Saturday

Hosted by the Texas Fly Fishers of Houston, the 28th annual Dr. Ed Rizzolo Fly Tying Festival features the largest group of fly tiers of any event on the Gulf Coast, with over 70 tiers from several states. Once again, it'll be held at Bethany Christian Church Community Center on 3223 Westheimer. 

In addition to the tying demos, there are also several seminars during the day, there are also exhibitors, and demo casting. A barbecue lunch is available for a nominal cost.

Each year, TFF brings in a prominent name in fly tying as their headliner. This year's special guest is Gunnar  Brammer  of  Duluth,  Minnesota, one  of  fly  tying’s  most  amazing  young  tyers. Gunnar specializes in designing  and  tying  predator  flies  for  all  big game  species.  Can visit his website at www.streamersbygunnar.com

For more info on the festival, go to www.texasflyfishers.org.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

LDWF announces public meetings on seatrout management

* Please note updated times and locations *

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has announced dates for public meetings to be held on spotted seatrout (speckled trout) management. The most recent stock assessment indicated spotted seatrout are overfished and undergoing overfishing and changes are necessary in order to recover the stock.

The slide to the left was part of the presentation given by LDWF biologists at the January meeting of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission. It shows that speckled trout spawning stocks have been on the decline since 2010, and below both the conservation target (yellow line) of 14 percent since 2012, and the recruitment threshold (magenta line) of 10.2 percent since 2013.  It also shows what various savings in the spawning biomass or potential ratio (both had similiar graphs) would result in.  CLICK on the images to enlarge.

No action is being taken at this time.  The Commission indicated it would like to hear public input before considering management changes.  LDWF’s biological opinion is that a 20% reduction in harvest is needed in order to recover the stock by 2025 or sooner, but there are a range of options that can achieve that goal.  From the standpoint of Fly Fishers International Gulf Coast Council (FFI-GCC),  the best management goal is one that takes us above the conservation target in the least amount of time.

Management change options recently presented to the LWFC in early January 2020 included:
- creel limit only changes
- minimum size limit changes only
- combined creel and minimum size limit changes
- slot limit only changes
- combined slot limit and creel changes.

Below is a list of meeting dates and locations.  All meetings will begin at 6:00 p.m., except the meeting in Ruston, which will begin at 1:00 p.m.

- Monday, February 10 – North Branch Library, 4130 West Park Ave, Gray
- Wednesday, February 12 – LDWF HQ, Herring Room, 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge
- Thursday, February 13 – Lafayette Council Chambers, 705 West University Avenue,  Lafayette
- Wednesday, February 19 – East Bank Regional Library, 4747 West Napoleon Avenue, Metairie
- Thursday, February 20 – Slidell Municipal Auditorium, 2056 Second Street, Slidell
- Wednesday, February 26 – Calcasieu Parish Extension Office, 7101 Gulf Highway, Lake Charles
- Thursday, February 27 – Rapides Parish Extension Office, 300 Grady Britt Drive, Alexandria
- Saturday, February 29 – Lincoln Parish Library, 910 North Trenton Street, Ruston

LDWF is partnering with Louisiana Sea Grant to use interactive voting technology at these public hearings in response to a survey that will be given at the meetings.  LDWF will also be sending out an email survey identical to the survey that will be administered at public meetings.

For more information, please contact Jason Adriance at 504-284-2032 or jadriance@wlf.la.gov.