St. Charles Parish is renowned for being a prime venue for those who love nature and the outdoors in general.
On Saturday, the second annual Fish Dat Rodeo takes aim at encouraging parish residents, particularly its younger generation, to step out of the house, away from phones and computers and take advantage of the area’s natural venues for activity.
“We’re blessed with so many wonderful natural resources around here,” said Duane Foret, Director of the St. Charles Parish Department of Parks and Recreation, which coordinates the event. “Hopefully, we get a lot of kids to participate and build up some more interest in the outdoors, and to experience the great recreational assets we have here in St. Charles Parish.”
The event made its debut last year, and the format will not change. The event will be held at the Bonnet Carre Spillway Lower Guide Levee Boat Launch, with anglers of all ages invited to participate in categories including bass, bream, catfish, sac-a-lait and miscellaneous.
Registration for anglers 12 years old and under is $5, and $10 for those 13 years and older. Participants can register online through May 19 and view the rodeo rules through the St. Charles Parish Parks and Recreation website.
Competition begins at daybreak with weigh-in at 1 p.m. and awards and door prizes.
The Fish Dat Rodeo is open to all St. Charles Parish residents and legal Louisiana fishing licensed persons. A Louisiana fishing license is required for anglers 16 and older. All Louisiana fishing regulations apply.
64 people registered and participated for last year’s event, which had to be delayed for several days due to weather issues. Rain was expected for the rescheduled date as well, but the anglers dodged the rain and the event enjoyed a successful debut.
There will be door prizes awarded for contestants, prizes including fishing poles, tackle boxes and ice chests.
There will be an age 12-and-under division specializing in bank fishing, as well as divisions for 17-and-under and 18-and-over.
Foret said the hopes are this event will not only continue on for years to come, but grow bigger and better as time goes on. One reason for that optimism is the planned West Bank boat launch planned in Des Allemands.
“One day, we’re anticipating we could have this big rodeo, transferred over to that site,” Foret said. “Or you could even see us hold Fish Dat as we are, then later on in a year at Des Allemands, and have two rodeos depending on how participation goes. We’re excited about that project.
Those interested in participating may register online through the St. Charles Parish Parks and Recreation website through May 19.