WEST MONROE, La (KTVE/KARD) — The Ouachita Parish Sheriffs Office held their annual youth fishing tournament. This event is really picking back up after a few-year hiatus due to COVID. Ouachita Parish Sheriffs enjoy being able to put on this tournament for the community.

Ouachita Parish Sheriff Jay Russell told us about this event. “Today was the Ouachita sheriff’s office youth fishing tournament, and we started several months ago trying to get children interested in our students in our schools, private and public, trying to get them interested in fishing and especially spending the day out with their parents, or their guardians, or the aunts or uncles, or the grandfather, or the grandmother, or whatever it might be, to get out and enjoy the outdoors for days, and that’s exactly what we accomplished today.”

Russell told us about some of the activities at today’s event. “They had free hot dogs and popcorn, they had face painting, they had a BB gun shooting competition, and they had all the fishing that we did and all the weigh-ins, and we gave away a lot of bicycles and a lot of prizes for those children today.”

Russell also explained why it is important they put this event on. “I believe that starting children young in sports shows that we care about our community and our children.” Normally they stay in that sport, whatever it might be, and they don’t turn to a life of crime or make bad choices in life, so that’s what we’re trying to do. We will build character in these children, and like I said, get them to spend a day with their parents outdoors, doing something they love.”