BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - If you're all done with Christmas shopping and looking for something to do, BREC has an interesting winter event for that is reportedly becoming a sort of winter tradition in the Baton Rouge area.
Saturday is the first day of winter, which tends to keep people inside, but there is an event taking place for many to continue enjoying Louisiana's great outdoors. BREC is hosting Rainbow Trout Fishing Rodeos at two area parks. It's time to celebrate the annual stocking of BREC's fishing ponds with rainbow trout.
"They're fun to fish for because they fight a lot," said Bob Wheeler, a rainbow trout farmer. "And during the winter when most other species are dormant, they're not productive, rainbow trout like cold water. They have to have cold water to thrive in."
A two-man crew drove a truck all the way from Missouri to deliver hundreds of pounds of rainbow trout to the four BREC parks in the area. There are currently about 360 pounds of farm-raised rainbow trout swimming around the Bluebonnet Fishing Park, just waiting to challenge area fishermen.
"We bring them in in the winter when the lakes get cooler, and we know that they'll have a chance of surviving," said Amanda Nichols with the BREC Conservation Department. Honestly, fishing for them is so popular. By the time it warms up and the lake is no longer hospitable for them, they've already been fished out."
The fishing rodeos are this weekend at the Zachary and Perkins Road community parks. These are catch and release competitions, but BREC will give awards for things like casting and smallest and largest fish caught. The event is also free and open to the public.
BREC requires anglers have a valid fishing license and follow all Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries rules and laws.