Katrina move grows show

Photo provided by DWAYNE PUPERAA first buck, first trophyDesiree Goudeau took her first deer, a solid, 190-pound, 7-pound buck during the recently concluded Louisiana hunting season. Bucks like her's and many others can be offered for competition later this week during the 34th-annual Louisiana Sportsman Show & Festival at the Lamar Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales. All hunters entering a buck for the show's Big Buck Contest get free admission and a chance to win an ATV and a chance for their trophies to be displayed among the top whitetails taken in the state during the 2012-2013 season.
Photo provided by DWAYNE PUPERAA first buck, first trophyDesiree Goudeau took her first deer, a solid, 190-pound, 7-pound buck during the recently concluded Louisiana hunting season. Bucks like her's and many others can be offered for competition later this week during the 34th-annual Louisiana Sportsman Show & Festival at the Lamar Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales. All hunters entering a buck for the show's Big Buck Contest get free admission and a chance to win an ATV and a chance for their trophies to be displayed among the top whitetails taken in the state during the 2012-2013 season.

Anyone who suffered through the agonizing time after Hurricane Katrina knows there was little to celebrate from one of our country’s most devastating storms.

There was a bright spot: With the Superdome shut down for repairs, Bob DelGiorno had to find a spot for his baby, the long-running Louisiana Sportsman Show.

He found it at the Lamar Dixon Expo Center, up Interstate 10 off La. 30 in Gonzales.

Six years later, the move has made this week’s 34th annual Sportsman Show an outdoors festival like none other in the Louisiana.

“At this point, the show space is equal to six Superdomes,” show director Jack Fisher said.

The show begins its four-day run Thursday (2 p.m.-7 p.m.) with no admission. The Friday-Sunday admission is $10 for adults, $6 for kids ages 6-12 with no admission fees for children 5 and younger and military personnel with I.D.s There’s a $15 three-day pass. This year there’s no parking fee.

For the past couple of years, DelGiorno and publishers of the Louisiana Sportsman have shared the show’s ownership with a move for the publishers to take the entire show in the near future. That plan appears to be working, because the show has expanded its scope beyond the bounds of its Superdome run.

Boats of all shapes and sizes in an expanded boat-show that Fisher said is the show’s major alteration this year, plus fishing tackle and hunting equipment in 250 booths, ATVs and an ATV test track, a big-buck contest that has an ATV for its grand prize (a drawing from among the big-buck entries), Cabela’s 3-D archery Shoot, Bowie Outfitters’ Sportsman Discount Zone, Splash Dogs and tractors and outdoor power equipment is enough to fill all three days.

And for the second year, it will have the Louisiana Sportsman Bass Championship Open with $12,000 first-place prize money and afternoon weigh-ins on the Expo’s grounds.

Other show hours are 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m-7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.

High school bass

Ascension Christian Principal Mark Pellegrin said the school will host the 2nd annual Louisiana High School Bass Classic out of the Manchac Launch at North Pass on Saturday, March 23.

The field will be made up of two-angler teams. One on each team must be a high school student. Entry fee is $40.

Pellegrin said it’s an attempt to further organize and promote fishing as a competitive sport among high schools and students.

“High schools provide students with competitive sports all year; however, fishing isn’t one of them. I think it’s a great opportunity for schools to encourage students to participate in one of the most competitive sports in Louisiana, fishing,” Pellegrin said in a release from the school.

The tournament has the backing of the East Ascension Sportsman’s League.

For details, call Pellegrin at (225) 622-2800.

Ferry re-opened

The Pointe-a-la-Hache Ferry landing re-opened Thursday to light traffic (pick-ups and cars) for the ferry crossings of the Mississippi River.

Neither school buses nor heavy trucks will be allowed on the landing.

The state Department of Transportation and Development announced one ferry will be based at the Belle Chasse on the west side of the river and one at Pointe-a-la-Hache on the east side. The Pointe-a-la-Hache ferry will operate from 6 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Tesvich Enterprises replaced support and spacer beams along with deck boards.

Saline Lake spraying

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced a series of large-scale herbicide applications on Saline Lake to control giant salvinia before the spring-summer growing period stimulates the growth of the nonnative plant.

LDWF managers indicated the spraying is part of management approach that includes herbicide treatments, biological control with salvinia weevils and lake drawdowns.

The herbicide application covering about 1,000 acres is scheduled to begin Monday. Continued herbicide applications are planned to kill the giant salvinia under already-sprayed dead plants.

Last year’s survey showed more than 50 percent of Saline’s more than 8,000 acres were covered by giant salvinia. A wintertime drawdown helped concentrate and control the plant. LDWF biologists said the herbicides are not harmful to fish and other aquatic organisms.

Burning workshop

Prescribed burning has benefits for wildlife and plant growth, so the LSU AgCenter has set a prescribed burning workshop April 3-5 at the Bob R. Jones Idlewild Research Station in Clinton.

Landowners attending the three-day program can leave with a “burner certification for timber landowners.”

Instructors are from the LSU AgCenter and the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry. Daily sessions are from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. at the station at 4419 Idlewild Rd. in Clinton, La. There’s a 30-person limit.

Ag Extension forester Brian Chandler said topics in the first two days will include fuels, fire behavior, fire weather, fire ecology, burning techniques, smoke management, fire lane establishment and burn planning.

Chandler the second day will have a field exercise with a prescribed fire and day three will include the Louisiana’s Certified Prescribed Burner Program. Attending the class, passing an exam and participating in the burning exercise are required for certification.

Registration is $100 ($150 after March 22). Chandler said the fee includes lunch, refreshments, handouts and supplies throughout the three days.

Call Chandler at (225) 683-3101 for details.

Big trouble

Christopher Pellerin faces multiple felony charges after Wildlife and Fisheries’ Enforcement Division agents arrested him for alleged possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, hunting without a basic license nor a state duck stamp, using lead shot to take migratory waterfowl and wanton waste of game birds.

Agents used search warrants to verify that Pellerin had hunted and taken coots in crawfish ponds Jan. 27 in Iberia Parish. The Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office confirmed deputies has cited Pellerin for trespassing earlier that day.