July 2016 Volumn 17 Issue 193 - Page 9

LDWF biologists are on the dock every day, sampling catch and surveying anglers. Because of this intense coverage, LA Creel provides more precise landings estimates and allows the department to accurately count species as they are landed. During yesterday’s announcement ceremony, LWFF Executive Director Kell McInnis presented the boat keys to Pratt and her son Colton. Pratt’s husband is currently working overseas, but that didn’t keep him from missing out on the event. Pratt FaceTimed with him on her cellphone, giving him a detailed tour of every inch of their new 22-foot Bullsbay. “It felt like a dream. Actually, it still feels like a dream,” recalled Pratt when she received the call from McInnis informing her of her good fortune. When asked if she fished often, Pratt said, “We’re a family of fishermen, but haven’t done much saltwater fishing before. We definitely can now.” Pratt’s son added they’re ready to take the boat out for its maiden voyage this weekend. “We particularly want to thank the sponsors who donated prizes and made this promotion a reality,” said McInnis. “Through their generosity we were able to reward anglers who are committed to helping the department provide the best data possible on our fisheries.” “When you purchase a fishing license, you help protect, preserve and manage Louisiana’s bountiful fishing grounds for generations to come,” explained McInnis. “Fishery conservation extends beyond our angling public and touches all Louisiana residents, so we hoped this promotion also served as a motivational tool to entice those outside of the angling community and those who left the sport to support the efforts of the department and purchase a license.” Pratt and her son walked away with the keys to their new boat and huge grins on their faces with McInnis sending them off with wishes of “many hours of pleasure on the water.”