Rainbow trout return to Vidalia pond; LDWF to offer free course

Published 3:10 pm Tuesday, January 10, 2023

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VIDALIA, La. — Rainbow Trout were restocked at William T. Polk community fishing pond on Tuesday. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries stocks the pond each winter as part of its Get Out and Fish! program. 

It also stocks the pond with catfish twice a year to provide a fishing opportunity to the public who might not otherwise have access to fishing. LDWF is offering another outreach opportunity this year in conjunction with the rainbow trout stocking. 

Joshua Porter, with the LDWF, said the department will offer a beginner trout fishing course to teach people how to fish from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on January 21 at the pond in Vidalia. Tackle, rods and other equipment will be provided, but people are encouraged to bring their own fishing gear. 

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Porter said the course is suited for a wide variety of anglers of different ages and experience. The first hour of instruction is fast paced and for adults, he said. 

“However, the fishing portion during the second hour is the perfect time for adults to relay the skills to youth in attendance,” Porter said. “Our goal with the fishing course is to try and teach information that can be used for both beginners and experienced anglers. New anglers will learn simple rigs and experienced anglers will learn very useful behavior patterns to increase their success.” 

All in attendance will take home a package of informative material, starter tackle, and gear courtesy of Cabela’s, Magic Bait, and Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana. Anglers 18 and older must possess a valid recreational fishing license to participate, and anglers under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Eight different courses will be offered at Get Out & Fish! ponds across the state.

The course is free, short and informative so you do not have to give up an entire day to learn how to fish for rainbow trout. Porter said the rainbow trout course is a part of a series offering courses to sharpen fishing skills. They offer an Intro to Fishing and Beginner Catfishing course and plan to offer Beginner Bass Fishing in the spring. More courses could be offered in the future, he said. 

Rainbow trout stocked at ponds across the state are hatchery-raised. Porter said the course will help anglers targeting these trout. 

“Hatchery-raised Rainbow Trout behave much differently than wild trout, especially since they are in ponds instead of streams,” Porter said. “This course will focus on the ideal baits, effective rigs and reading weather patterns to best locate the trout in the pond.” 

People interested in the course can sign up at www.LouisianaOutdoors.com/events