Though rainbow trout are not native to Louisiana, BREC stocked four ponds in East Baton Rouge Parish for its annual Geaux Fish Rodeo held Dec. 19-20.

More than 1,000 pounds of trout were trucked in from Ava, Missouri, and stocked in ponds at Zachary Community, Central Sports, Forest Community and Perkins Road Community parks. The event was free and open to all ages wishing to fish.

According to BREC, the Geaux Fish Rodeos were designed to catch and release the rainbow trout, which require conditions such as low water temperatures and dissolved oxygen levels to reproduce and survive.

Because of the limited numbers of fish put into the ponds, they are generally fished out by late winter, when temperatures begin to rise again, BREC officials said.

At Zachary Community Park, 16 people registered to compete in the fishing rodeo, including John Williams, of Zachary, and his two sons, Crawford, 10, and Sutton, 6.

The Williams’ used night crawler worms to catch six trout on Dec. 19 and two on Dec. 20. They won awards for most fish caught and biggest and smallest trout hooked.

One Baton Rouge family visiting the Zachary pond fished using corn niblets. The family includes parents Patrick and Jenny Hall, son John Patrick, 7; Catherine, 6; nephew, Mason Jennings, 6; and Jenny Hall’s father, Joe Lassalle, also of Baton Rouge.

“We told the kids to put down the Wii and that we were going to spend the day together outdoors,” said Jenny Hall. “So that’s just what we did. We loaded up the car and drove to Zachary to go fishing.”

Baker resident Harold Carey, who is retired from the Department of Defense, fished for trout using a beetle lure.

“I’ve gotten a couple of strikes but haven’t hooked any,” Carey said on Dec. 20. “It’s just nice being outdoors and fishing.”

At the conclusion of the rodeo, the children participated in a casting contest with help from BREC’s Amanda Bradley and Claire Sharp, who brought her three daughters to the event.

Awards were presented to winners of the casting contest, the smallest and largest fish caught and the family catching the most fish.