- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 20, 2015

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has announced the dates for this year’s Louisiana Saltwater Series redfish trail, and the most significant change is in the number of events of the popular tournament series. In 2014, the LASS consisted of seven regular-season tournaments, but this year, there will be only five.

Tournament officials dropped the Cocodrie, Calcasieu Lake, Port Fourchon and Lafitte events, but added stops in Grand Isle and Cypremort Point.

The tournament series kicks off with a March 21 stop in Slidell. The tournament headquarters will be the Northshore Harbor Center, and participants will weigh in on stage at the Northshore Boat-N-Fishing Show.

The next stop will be April 11 at Grand Isle’s Bridge Side Marina, followed by a May 2 event at Delta Marina in Empire.

The popular Delacroix stop will be pushed back a couple months from last year’s schedule. It’s planned for Aug. 22 at Sweetwater Marina.

Participants will then travel to Cypremort Point for a Sept. 19 event out of Quintana Landing.

Once again, the championship will be out of Venice Marina, and is scheduled for Oct. 9-10. It’s the only two-day event.

The department uses the tournament series to increase the numbers of tagged fish in Louisiana’s coastal marshes. As of October 2014, 4,038 fish had been tagged through LASS, and 331 of those had been recaptured.

“The annual database collected is an invaluable tool for LDWF biologists and fisheries managers to learn more about the life history and the estuarine habitat behavior of redfish,” tournament director Sam Barbera said.

The 2015 rules haven’t yet been finalized, but Barbera said the trail will remain 100-percent pay back.

Last year, Brandon Treadaway and Kevin Bergeron won the championship.

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