Cash awards are handed out every year to the top three in each of the three categories in the Youth Journalism Contest, sponsored by the Louisiana members of Safari Club International and the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association.

There are two age-group writing categories, ages 7-13 in Junior Essay and ages 14-18 in Senior Essay and a photography contest for ages 7-18. Essays should be 300-1,000 words, typed, double-spaced, original, unpublished writings involving a personal outdoors experience. Submitted photos must be original, unpublished black-and-white or color, 4x6, 5x7 or 8x10 inches, and center-mounted on an 8x10 board. Only one essay and photograph will be accepted for each youngster.

Essays can be emailed:, and photos can be mailed to Joe Macaluso, Advocate Outdoors, P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821. ATTN: LOWA.

Submissions must have name, age, school, home address, home telephone number and, where possible, email address attached at the top of the essay or photo.

Young fishers: another LOWA contest is for young anglers. One boy and one girl will receive a Louisiana lifetime fishing license if their writing and companion photo are judged tops in the Louisiana Youth Angler of the Year contest.

LOWA president Wendy Billiot chairs the contest and said youngsters need to write an essay about a memorable Louisiana fishing trip. “You may include where you went, who you were with, what kind of bait you used, what kind of fishing you were doing, and what you learned,” she said, and send along a photo of the adventure.

“Essays will be judged for the heart of the story, not just on the writing style or grammar and spelling,” Billiot said, adding youngsters must be in grades 9-12 and a Louisiana resident.

The applications website:

Both the Youth Journalism and Youth Anglers have June 30 deadlines, but don’t wait until summer vacation. Work on these contests while you have a couple of days off this week or on a school weekend.

Winners will be contacted and awards will be announced during the LOWA’s annual conference and awards banquet in August.

Public hearing

Wildlife and Fisheries’ Wildlife Division has set the final public hearing on dates, bag limits and other rules and regulations for the 2019-2020 hunting seasons at 10 a.m. Monday at the Joe Herring Room at LDWF headquarters on Quail Drive in Baton Rouge.

The full notice of the proposed seasons is available on the LDWF’s website:

On triggerfish

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council send out a notice last week about needing “a better understanding of gray triggerfish in the Gulf of Mexico,” and is asking fishermen and divers about “trends or ‘strange things’ scientists and managers may need to know.”

Most recreational offshore fishermen know gray triggerfish season closed May 11 across the Gulf — Louisiana waters, too — and federal fisheries biologists will undertake a stock assessment of the species this year.

The oddly worded release stated, “the Council would like to know if you have noticed anything ‘fishy’ about gray triggerfish, or gray triggerfish fishing, in recent years. The information provided will help inform scientists and managers as they formulate a current understanding of the gray triggerfish stock.”

If you want to add your two cents, go to the GMFMC’s website:, then find the topic “Something’s Fishy with Gray Triggerfish” questionnaire. The deadline for submitting this form is May 9.