By Jim Wilkerson
Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LWDF) will be restocking rainbow trout at Elmore D. Mayfield Park. This is part of the LDWF’s “Get Out and Fish!” program that occurs every year at various parks and other locations around the state.
The general mission of “Get Out and Fish!” is to recruit new anglers while encouraging former anglers to return to the sport.
To accomplish this goal, the program provides a location close to home where anglers can catch adult size fish without having to use a boat, travel a long time, or plan an expensive fishing trip.
The restocking of rainbow trout generally occurs every winter – weather permitting – around January or February. These fish come from hatcheries where they are grown in a controlled environment until they are released into one of the designated ponds.
The LWDF partners with community organizations and local governments to identify high-quality fishing locations within a short walk or bike ride from a community or town. These locations must be open to the public.
LDWF biologists also assess each potential location for suitability as a healthy fishery. Ideal sites have three-to-ten-acre ponds with amenities such as restrooms, parking, and play areas nearby.
Elmore D. Mayfield Park, located at 1701 Martin Luther King Drive, is certainly an ideal location. It is the City’s largest park, encompassing 66 acres with a spring-fed lake, and it has a playground, restroom facilities, a basketball court, and a baseball/softball field.
For those planning on fishing there, LDWF suggests doing so with a light line and a small hook, preferably a small spinner lure or rooster tail. Popular trout baits to use are corn kernels and small synthetic baits, often found in jars. These resemble the food pellets the rainbow trout were raised on in hatcheries.
For more information, visit the ”Get Out and Fish!” webpage.
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