Senior Bass Tournament postponed because of high water _lowres

Photo provided by PORTER TAYLOR Spring break redfish Connor Taylor took advantage of last week's spring break to take a family trip to the coast to take this redfish on the north side of the L&N train bridge in Lake Pontchartrain. The St. Thomas More seventh grader caught the 'keeper' red on a live shrimp worked on a Carolina rig. Redfish and speckled trout have moved to the bridges on the southeast corner of the state's largest lake, but constant rain during the last five days have kept trips to a minimum.

Acting on an advisory from the Assumption Parish Police Jury, Wayne Tucker has postponed Friday’s annual gathering of the Seniors Bass Tournament.

Assumption Parish’s Office of Emergency Preparedness issued a notice Tuesday declaring no-wake zones “in effect (immediately) for Belle River in the vicinity of all homes, camps, structures, etc. and Pierre Part Bay. This no-wake zone shall stay in effect until further notice.”

Tucker’s reaction came late Tuesday: “As much as our group looks forward to our tournament every year, we can’t take a risk of someone getting hurt. The water is rising every day, and with more rain coming, we have to postpone, and I ask all the fishermen to check The Advocate for the updates. It’s possible we might have to delay the tournament again if the flooding conditions linger.”

The tournament is moved to April 24 with the check-in remaining at Paisano’s at La. 70 on Belle River.

Tucker and Dub Noel, longtime bass tournament anglers, organized the Seniors Tournament 10 years ago after they saw lots of old friends and fishing competitors had become too old to fish in weekend series and other major south Louisiana tournaments.

“We missed seeing the guys, men we fished against back when we were young, back in the 1970s and this was a chance to get everyone together again,” Tucker said. “We hold it in the spring when it’s not so hot for us old guys. We don’t fish all day, just the morning, and we have a three-fish (bass) limit, and we fix jambalaya for lunch and swap old stories. It’s become an event a lot of 55-and-older fishermen expect to happen every spring.”

While other waterways and other parish governments have not taken similar action as Assumption Parish, recent heavy rains have swelled water levels in all south Louisiana rivers and bayous.

The word to the wise is that boaters are reminded that they are responsible for damage caused by wakes from their boats.

Water on WMAs

Mississippi and Red rivers floodwaters forced the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to close Hog Pen Lake and Lac A’Sostein roads in the Richard Yancey Wildlife Management Area in Concordia Parish south of Ferriday, but receding floodwaters allowed LDWF to reopen Sandy Bayou, Muddy Bayou and Taylor Bayou roads on the Dewey Wills WMA this week.

With water levels continuing to recede, the Yancey WMA, once named the Red River and Three Rivers complex, is expected to be open for the May 2-10 spring squirrel season, a special season open on 40 other WMAs during those days.

No closures have been ordered on the Sherburne WMA. Rain and floodwaters have increased water levels on that WMA near Krotz Springs. That condition usually prompts folks to venture onto Sherburne to take crawfish. A reminder that the daily take is limited to 100 pounds of crawfish, and you must have a Wild Louisiana Stamp if you don’t have a valid state fishing and/or hunting license.

For women only

Cabela’s in Gonzales is heavy into Saturday’s nationwide Cabela’s Ladies’ Day Out with a full schedule running from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The push for women to venture into the outdoors comes from a recent Outdoor Foundation survey showing that 46 percent, or 65.6 million, of our country’s outdoor recreation folks are women.

The Gonzales store’s activities include:

Day-long information from the Baton Rouge-based A Girl and a Gun Club, and sessions entitled “Bows are for Girls, Too” and “Camping in Style”;

Ladies and Long Guns at 10 a.m.;

Cast Away and Catch Some Fun at 11 a.m.;

Hunting and Fishing in Style at 1 p.m.;

Selecting the Perfect Handgun at 2 p.m.;

and, Cooking What You Catch at 3 p.m.

The first 100 women to check in will receive a gift, and there will be women-only discounts for in-store purchases.

Cabela’s will also be the site for a Women’s Tagging Workshop set for Saturday, April 25. It’s limited to 30 women, and the state biologists will lead classes on fish identification, fish handling, fishing tackle, basic fishing skills and catching, cleaning, storing and cooking fish along with the method for properly tagging and releasing fish.

This just in

NOAA Fisheries released a report Wednesday on U.S. fish stocks and the first sentence brings good news: “The number of domestic fish stocks listed as overfished or subject to overfishing has dropped to an all-time low since 1997,” the report stated.

The report further stated that six fishing stocks have been removed from the “overfishing” category. Those included the “jacks complex,” Gulf of Mexico; snowy grouper, the southern Atlantic coast; gag grouper, South Atlantic; albacore, North Atlantic; haddock, Gulf of Maine; and, bluefin tuna in the western Atlantic.

Two species were taken off the “overfished” list to include gag grouper in the Gulf of Mexico and albacore in the North Atlantic.

The report noted that three species, Gulf of Mexico gag grouper, golden tilefish along the Mid-Atlantic Coast and butterfish in northeast waters “... were rebuilt to target levels in 2014.”

There was no mention of red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico.

The complete report can be found on NOAA’s website: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/news/2015/status_of_stocks_2014.html.