Release Date: 03/14/2006

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) in cooperation with the Louisiana B.A.S.S. Federation announced a plan today to give areas devastated by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita a much needed boost towards resource recovery. 

Project Jumpstart will be coordinated by LDWFs Inland Fisheries Division and is similar to the CPR Spillway project that utilized the efforts of bass anglers to help restore the Atchafalaya Basin after Hurricane Andrew.

Project Jumpstart will utilize the B.A.S.S.-sanctioned Spring Qualifying State Tournament set for March 11-12 to collect fish from the Atchafalaya Basin that will then be released in waterways impacted by last years storms.  We were contacted by the B.A.S.S. Federation after Hurricane Katrina with an offer of assistance in our resource restoration efforts, said Joey Shepard, Inland Fisheries Research Program Manager in charge of freshwater fisheries restoration.  Their offer to provide tournament fish for restocking impacted areas was the right solution at the right time.

The weekend tournament will be conducted from Doirons Landing in Stephensville.  The first areas to receive fish from Project Jumpstart will be those hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina, east of the Mississippi River, including rivers and bayous around Lakes Maurepas and Pontchartrain. 

LDWFs goal is to get adult fish back into impacted areas before spring spawning takes place so they can begin to renew the resource.

We are very interested in making this competitive, recreational event even more meaningful by contributing the catch to the fisheries recovery efforts in another part of the state, said Louisiana B.A.S.S. Federation Conservation Director Will Courtney.  If our participants can make this project as successful as CPR Spillway, weve helped bass fishermen elsewhere restore their resource and given them a reason to get back out on the water.

EDITORS: For more information on Project Jumpstart contact LDWFs Joey Shepard at 225-765-2343 or jshepard@wlf.louisiana.gov.