Tournament: Annual STAR (Statewide Tournament and Angler’s Rodeo) Tournament hosted by the Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana that begins on Saturday, May 27, 2023, and ends on Monday, September 4, 2023.
Tournament Year: Annually, the Tournament runs from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. A Tournament year is the three months of this year’s event.
Immediate Family: The participant’s spouse, parents, grandparents; the participant’s children; the spouses of the participant’s children; grandchildren; the parents of his or her spouse; the participant’s brothers and their spouses; the participant’s sisters and their spouses; stepparents; stepchildren; stepsiblings; and adoptive relationships consistent with the stated relationships.
Household Family: The participant and those living with the participant related to him or her by birth, marriage, or adoption.
- Rules Acceptance. It is the sole responsibility of the participating angler (“Participant(s)”) to know and abide by the CCA STAR Rules as published and as amended during the Tournament. Participants agree to accept all CCA STAR Tournament Rules as amended during the Tournament and accept the decisions made by the STAR Committee as final. Participants who are not qualified or otherwise ineligible to participate will not be due a refund of their entry fee.
- Participation Qualifications. Only members (i) of the Coastal Conservation Association or its youth organization, the New Tide, during the participant’s participation in the Tournament and (ii) who register for the Tournament and (iii) have paid all fees associated with it will be qualified participants in the Tournament. Each Tournament participant, including youth anglers, is eligible to win only one prize per Tournament Year.
- Employee and Certain Volunteers Ineligible. No employee of the Coastal Conservation Association, member of the Redfish Release Team, the STAR Committee, or members of their Immediate Family will be eligible to compete in the tagged redfish division for a prize. These individuals and family members are eligible for all other divisions.
- Professional Fishing Guides Ineligible. Professional fishing guides licensed and permitted by Louisiana are not eligible to participate in the STAR Tournament except the Captains Division. (Note: Participants in the STAR Tournament may fish with a professional guide)
- Division Winner Temporally Excluded. Should a participant win the top prize in any division, that participant and their Household Family are ineligible to win a prize in the same division for three Tournament Years after winning. This temporal exclusion does not apply to other divisions. This rule is retroactive.
- Others Ineligible. These individuals are disqualified from the CCA STAR Tournament: (1) any participant, and their immediate family, once disqualified in any CCA STAR will be ineligible to participate in the Tournament; (2) any participant, and their Immediate Family of any participant, who previously refused a polygraph test as required by the CCA STAR Rules; (3) any participant and their Immediate Family of any participant who previously failed a polygraph test in any CCA STAR will be ineligible to participate in the Tournament; (4) any participant, cited by officers for violating State or Federal fishing regulations related to any fish weighed; and (5) any participant, and their Immediate Family and any conspirators or accomplices, who makes or made a false representation, or otherwise cheats or cheated, to win any prize awarded in the STAR Tournament. Whether a participant cheats, is a conspirator or is an accomplice is to be decided by the STAR Committee, in its sole discretion, and such decision will be final.
- Legal and Regulatory Compliance. Participants and fish must comply with the current rules and regulations of the State of Louisiana governing the recreational harvest of fish, as well as federal regulations and how they apply to Louisiana anglers set forth by NOAA and the Gulf Council. **Subject to change based on decisions made by the Gulf Council and STAR Tournament Committee.
- Dates and Times. The Tournament will begin at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, May 27, 2023, and end at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, September 4, 2023. Only fish caught and tendered at an official STAR weigh station during this period will be eligible for Tournament prize consideration. No fish will be weighed in after 5:00 p.m. on the last Tournament Day.
- Fishing Method. Fish entered into the competition for prizes must have been caught and landed by the participant on a conventional rod, hook, and line exclusively. While trolling, drifting, or still fishing, a rod secured in a rod holder may hook a fish; however, the angler who first receives the rod from the holder must continually fight and land the fish without assistance from any other person. Deckhand or any other angler assistance is limited solely to leadering, gaffing, netting, or tail-roping the fish caught by the participating angler. Disabling or subduing a fish before it is landed is prohibited.
- Tournament Boundaries. Boundaries are the State of Louisiana’s territorial waters, including Louisiana’s common and shared boundary waters with Texas and Mississippi as defined by Louisiana law, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and the extension of Louisiana borders seaward 200 miles. (See special rules for speckled trout.) Offshore Divisions (Mangrove Snapper, Red Snapper, Cobia, and Tuna) boundaries extend from the MS/Louisiana State line to the Louisiana/Texas state line. Any fish taken outside Tournament boundaries from private impoundments or other waters not legally open to recreational fishing or accessible to the public will not be eligible for entry. The location where the fish is caught determines which division or region it is entered, not the weigh-in location. Designation of division or region must be entered at the time of weigh-in.
- Winning Fish Determination. All winning fish (except tagged redfish and youth division) will be determined by weight. Only weights indicated by the digital graduations on the scale will be accepted. Visual fractionalizing of these graduations is not allowed. If a tie occurs, the fish weighed in first will be declared the winner. If weigh-in times are identical, the participant who registered for the Tournament first will be declared the winner. All fish entered into the competition must have been caught by the participant and must be weighed, or for tagged redfish, presented at a designated official STAR weigh station, as soon as practicable after landing and in no event more than 24 hours after landing. *Only tuna, cobia, red snapper, and mangrove snapper will be allowed seventy-two (72) hours to weigh after landing. All fish entered will be weighed only once at an official STAR weigh station (and one weigh station only). Participants wishing to enter a fish in the Tournament must complete and sign the official STAR weigh form at the weigh-in. The participant will only need to present his or her proof of identity (driver’s license or identification card). No fish will be weighed or entered without the participant signing the official STAR weigh form. No frozen, spoiled, gutted, altered, or mutilated fish will be eligible for entry. Tuna may only be weighed at the following certified tuna weigh stations: Don’s Boat Landing (Erath), Coco Marina (Cocodrie), Grand Isle Marina (Grand Isle), Port Fourchon Marina (Fourchon) and Cypress Cove Marina (Venice).
- No Transfers. No transfer of fish among Tournament participants will be allowed. A fish weighed by an individual must have been caught by the same individual.
- Eligible Fish. Fish eligible for the Tournament are speckled trout, red snapper, mangrove snapper, cobia, sheepshead, yellowfin tuna, and tagged redfish. Minimum entry requirements are: 38 inches for cobia, 20 inches for speckled trout division (Louisiana), 14 inches for all species entered in youth, fly, kayak, and bank divisions, 14 inches for mangrove snapper, and 16 inches for Red Snapper. If a Participant weighs more than one fish in a single division, only the heaviest fish will be eligible, and the other fish will be removed from that division’s leaderboard, and the fish will be deemed ineligible. Additionally, the lesser weight fish cannot be used in or transferred to any other division, and the Participant must choose which division to enter the fish at the time of weigh in.
Singular Prize. Participants will be eligible to win only one prize in this Tournament. The STAR Committee will designate the prize (or its equivalent) in each division. All decisions of the STAR Committee are final and not subject to appeal.
SPECKLED TROUT RULES:
Speckled Trout Divisions. For speckled trout, the Louisiana Coast will be separated into four divisional competition areas; the West, South-West, South-East, and East; each having its own top prize fish.
Speckled Trout Boundaries. The boundaries for the four areas are: West Division: From the Louisiana/Texas border including the common boundary waters of Louisiana/Texas then due south 180 degrees (true) extending seaward 200 miles. To the common boundary of Cameron Parish and Vermilion Parish, then due south 180 degrees (true) extending seaward 200 miles. South-West: From the common boundary of Cameron Parish and Vermilion Parish, then due south 180 degrees (true) extending seaward 200 miles to the westernmost bank of the Atchafalaya River (southward) due south 180 degrees (true) extending seaward 200 miles. South-East: Following the westernmost bank of the Atchafalaya River (southward) extending seaward 200 miles to the easternmost Jefferson Parish line (southward), then due south 180 degrees (true) extending seaward 200 miles. East Division: Following to the westernmost bank of the Mississippi River (southward) to the easternmost Jefferson Parish line (southward), then due south 180 degrees (true) extending seaward 200 miles to the Louisiana/Mississippi border, including the common boundary waters of Louisiana/Mississippi then due south 180 degrees (true) extending seaward 200 miles.
Cross-Zone Entry Prohibited. Speckled trout must be entered in the zone where it was caught, not weighed in. The Coastal Fisheries Institute at Louisiana State University may perform scientific tests to verify the location and time of catch.
Speckled Trout Prize Distribution. Prizes will be awarded as follows: A single prize will be awarded for the heaviest speckled trout weighed in each respective division. The heaviest trout overall across the entire state will win the top prize. Additional prizes for second and third place may be awarded at the STAR Committee’s discretion.
The STAR Committee will designate the prizes (or their equivalents) in each division. All decisions of the STAR Committee are final and not subject to protest or appeal.
YOUTH DIVISION RULES
Youth Division Qualifications. Coastal Conservation Association members 17 years old or younger (on or before the Tournament start date) may compete free but must complete an official STAR entry form. All the rules, releases, and indemnity agreements, and eligibility for the STAR apply to the Youth division. Youth anglers are eligible to compete in all categories and are also required to follow all other rules of the Tournament and state and federal law. To be eligible to fish in the Youth division, the angler must also be a New Tide member (must be 17 years old or younger on the start date of the Tournament) and be registered for STAR.
Youth Division Registration. Each youth participant may register one trout and/or one sheepshead per division (divisions described in Speckled trout division). This can be done by registering the fish at an official weigh station or by emailing a picture of the participant with the fish on a ruler to the Tournament director at email@example.com.
Youth Division Fish Eligibility. Fish eligible to be entered into the Youth division are speckled trout and sheepshead. Both speckled trout and sheepshead must be 14 inches or greater in length.
Youth Division Prizes. One prize will be awarded per each Youth division category: Four (4) total prizes, one prize per each division as described in Section 14 (boundaries are the same as the adult speckled trout division). Youth Division drawings: The top prize drawings to award the Youth Division prize boats will be held on or before September 16, 2023, at the Coastal Conservation Association Louisiana office.
- Kayak Qualification. For the STAR rules, a kayak is defined as any vessel that has no form of power other than that supplied by its occupant. Vessels powered by sail, combustion, and electric engines are not eligible. No mothershipping (the transportation of an otherwise qualifying kayak by another boat or vessel to where the kayak operates independently from the boat or vessel that transports it) is allowed. Also, fish entered into the kayak division must be caught while the participant is in the kayak or eligible vessel.
- Kayak Fish Eligibility. Eligible fish: one speckled trout (over 14”) caught while the angler is fishing from his or her Kayak. For the kayak division, the Louisiana Coast will be separated into four divisional competition areas; the West, South-West, South-East, and East; (identical to speckled trout in Section 14), each having its own top prize fish.
- Fly–Fishing Qualifications. Only one-handed rods and single-action reels explicitly designed for fly-fishing may be used. Any line or backing may be used. The tippet must be at least 15″ long with a maximum breaking strength of 20 lbs. Flies must be of the recognized type of artificial fly according to IGFA International Fly-fishing rules. (https://igfa.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/IGFA-International-Angling-Rules_May122020.pdf) No scent, either artificial or natural, is allowed.
- Fly–Fishing Fish Eligibility. Eligible fish: speckled trout (over 14”).
- Fly–Fishing Prizes: One prize will be awarded per Region (East/West).
- Fly–Fishing Divisions. For the fly-fishing division (and sheepshead and ladies divisions), the Louisiana Coast will be separated into two regional competition areas, the East, and West. West Region: from the Louisiana/Texas border (including the common boundary waters of Louisiana/Texas as defined by Wildlife and Fisheries and the extension of the Louisiana border seaward 200 miles) to the westernmost bank of the Atchafalaya River extending along the Eugene channel markers to Eugene channel marker #32 then due south 180 degrees (true). East Region: from the Louisiana/Mississippi border (including the common boundary waters of Louisiana/Mississippi as defined by Wildlife and Fisheries and the extension of the Louisiana border seaward 200 miles), to the westernmost bank of the Atchafalaya River extending east along the Eugene Island channel to channel marker #32 then east of the line drawn seaward 180 degrees south (true) from Eugene Island channel marker #32.
TAGGED REDFISH RULES:
- Applicable Tagged Redfish. 100 tagged redfish will be released into the coastal waters of Louisiana before the start of the Tournament. The redfish tags are red and will read 2023 CCA Louisiana/STAR No 302-452.
- Tagged Redfish Prizes. Only the first ten redfish entered bearing one of the above-described tag numbers will receive a prize.
- Tagged Redfish Eligibility. To be eligible, each tagged redfish, with the tag still attached to the fish, must be entered into the Tournament at a designated official STAR weigh station within 24 hours of being landed. The date and time of entry must be clearly marked on the official STAR weigh form. After being weighed at the STAR weigh station, the participant must call the Coastal Conservation Association Louisiana and arrange for a time to have the redfish examined by a Coastal Conservation Association Louisiana employee or designee.
- Tagged Redfish Singular Prize. Each participant will be eligible to win only one prize for a tagged redfish. All tagged redfish immediately become the property of Coastal Conservation Association Louisiana. The first registered angler to weigh-in a tagged redfish will win a Chevy Silverado. The next eligible angler wins a travel trailer, the third thru fifth eligible fish win 195XTS NauticStar and Mercury bay boat packages. Winning anglers 6 through 10 will win Gator Tail boat packages. The winner of the Chevrolet truck must have one panel of their new truck wrapped with graphics displaying the slogan “I won this truck courtesy of the Acadiana, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans area dealers” or something equivalent at the expense of Coastal Conservation Association Louisiana. If the third prize (and only the third prize) is not claimed by an eligible angler, a drawing of all 2023 participants will determine the winner, and they will be given a 195XTS NauticStar and Mercury Outboard package or its equivalent.
ULTRA Division – Up to 50 fish will be tagged with a specific CCA LA STAR/Michelob Ultra tag. Fish Caught with this tag by an eligible participant in STAR will win “Beer for a Year,” equating to at least one case of beer a month provided by the distributors of Anheuser-Busch in Louisiana. These fish shall be entered by submitting a picture to the Tournament Director, Sam Hopper (firstname.lastname@example.org) at the time of catch.
BANK FISHING DIVISION
- Bank Fishing Qualifications. The bank fishing division is open to all anglers fishing from a bank or wading off a publicly accessible bank, pier, beach, and roadway. The location must be accessed by foot or automobile, and no trespassing is allowed getting from vehicle to fishing location. Transportation to the bank fishing location in a floating vessel or airplane is not allowed.
- Captains Division. This division is reserved for guides licensed and permitted by the state of Louisiana. Eligible captains must meet these criteria: They have notified the CCA STAR Tournament about their participation, and they have placed the designated logo on their boat. Winners will be decided by their sports’ fish placed on the final STAR leaderboard. Each participating captain will win a $1,500 tackle package and will be featured in Tide Magazine, which is sent to all members in the country. Each participating guide will also be listed on the CCA STAR website.
- Minor Prize Winners. If a participant under 18 years old wins a prize, their legal representative will receive the prize on his/her behalf.
- Polygraph Examination Required. Any person, including minors, entering a prize-winning fish, or claiming a prize must submit to a polygraph examination. Additionally, each person entering the STAR, whether they are entering a prize-winning fish or claiming a prize, agrees to submit to a polygraph examination should Coastal Conservation Association consider the polygraph necessary in their sole discretion.
- Polygraphist Selection. The STAR Committee reserves the sole right to select polygraphists to administer polygraph examinations.
- Polygraph Examination Date and Times. All polygraph examinations must be taken at the time, place, and by the polygraphist(s) designated by the STAR Committee.
- Polygraph Consent. Each participant agrees by his/her signature on the official CCA STAR entry form or weigh form to submit to a polygraph examination and abide by its result. If the result is inconclusive, Coastal Conservation Association’s determination for that participant will be final. All travel expenses are to be paid by the participant. Failure to submit to or pass the required polygraph examination will result in disqualification.
- Protests. Except for polygraph related disputes, all other disputes, protests, claims, differences, or controversies of any kind relating to any aspect of the Tournament, including, without limitation, Tournament rules, and participant controversies, must be submitted in writing and postmarked to the Coastal Conservation Association STAR Tournament Director at 12241 Industriplex Building A, Baton Rouge, LA 70809 by 5:00 p.m. on September 12, 2023, by certified mail. Polygraph related disputes shall be submitte3d in the same manner within seven days after completion of the examination.
- Protest Decisions. All such protests must be submitted to and decided by the STAR Committee.
- Finality of STAR Committee Decision. The decision of the STAR Committee will be final and binding on all matters.
- Failure of STAR Committee to Render a Decision. If the STAR Committee cannot render or refuses to render a final and binding decision about any dispute, protest, claim, difference, or controversy to any aspect of the Tournament under its review within 30 days, the matter must be resolved by binding arbitration.
- Arbitration Clause. Any controversy or claim arising out of or relating to these rules, prize distribution, or any other aspect of the Tournament, or any dispute between the participant and the Coastal Conservation Association must be settled by arbitration. These disputes include, but are not limited to, those arising under the law of tort, contract, restitution, or any other legal theory must be resolved by a three-person arbitration panel administered by the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana under the Commercial Arbitration Rules, Expedited Procedures effective at the time of the dispute. Furthermore, any award rendered by any arbitrator(s) may be entered in any court having jurisdiction of it, including, but not limited to, the 19th Judicial District Court for the Parish of East Baton Rouge. The decision rendered in arbitration will be a “reasoned decision” and in writing and will be final and binding upon all parties. The parties will have no further recourse unless provided for by the commercial rules of the American Arbitration Association. The participants expressly waive any right to a trial by judge or jury.
- Responsibility for Costs and Fees of Arbitration. The non-prevailing party will pay all costs incurred by the prevailing party. And the non-prevailing party must pay the prevailing party for all attorneys’ fees in connection with the arbitration and with enforcement of any arbitration award, and if paid to CCA, whether attorneys’ fees are incurred by Coastal Conservation Association Louisiana were on trade or cash basis.
- Prizes Conveyed As-Is. All prizes will be conveyed “as-is” to the actual winner or guardian after the Tournament has concluded at the STAR Awards Banquet. The STAR Committee may replace or substitute for any advertised prize another prize that the Committee considers, in its sole discretion, to be of comparable value to the original prize.
- Prize Implications and Responsibilities. All boat winners must register the boat and complete the required paperwork with Redmond Marine and are solely responsible for payment of any taxes, fees, and costs associated with the prize. All non-boat winners must timely process, register, and complete tax documentation at specified sporting goods / marine / automotive dealerships and are solely responsible for payment of any taxes, fees, and costs associated with the prize.
- Marketing Participation. The participants expressly agree and consent to using any photograph, video, or audio recording in which they appear or are heard by the Coastal Conservation Association for any purpose at all including, but not limited to, resale, advertising, and promotional material without compensation or restriction of any kind.
- Disclaimer. The entire responsibility for valid member status, state fishing license status, and correctness of his or her entry form rests solely on the participant. The STAR Committee reserves the right to change dates and times of the Tournament. All decisions of the STAR Committee are final and not subject to appeal.
- Conflict of Terms. If any inconsistency occurs or conflict between these Rules and any other promulgation or communication of the Coastal Conservation Association, the terms and provisions of these Rules will govern and control.
- Tournament Protection Rule. Any act or inflammatory statement by any contestant that, in the sole opinion of the STAR Tournament Committee, is detrimental to operating the STAR Tournament, to Coastal Conservation Association or any of its sponsors, or to permitting agencies or their officers (such as rangers, LDWF wardens, fishery biologists, tournament officials, etc.) during STAR Tournament, may result in disqualification. Disrespect and or defamation of Coastal Conservation Association, any Coastal Conservation Association volunteer or staff member, or sponsors of Coastal Conservation Association, may result in immediate disqualification. Disqualification will be decided by the STAR Committee, at its sole discretion, and such decision will be final. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Heated public disagreements with Coastal Conservation Association employees, STAR Tournament officials, Coastal Conservation Association volunteers, or Coastal Conservation Association sponsors.
- Public attacks through media, including social media or on the internet, upon the integrity of Coastal Conservation Association STAR Tournament rules, Coastal Conservation Association employees, STAR Tournament officials, Coastal Conservation Association volunteers, or Coastal Conservation Association sponsors.
- Public comments that an angler or family member knows, or should know, will harm the reputation of Coastal Conservation Association, Coastal Conservation Association employees, STAR Tournament officials, Coastal Conservation Association volunteers, or Coastal Conservation Association sponsors.
- Publicly questioning or criticizing a STAR Tournament official or Coastal Conservation Association STAR Committee decision, ruling or penalty except through the proper protest procedure.
- Abuse (physical, verbal, threatening, or slanderous or defamatory) of Coastal Conservation Association employees, STAR Tournament officials, Coastal Conservation Association volunteers, or Coastal Conservation Association sponsors.
- Offensive or slanderous comments with racial, cultural, or sexual overtones about Coastal Conservation Association employees, STAR Tournament officials, Coastal Conservation Association volunteers, or Coastal Conservation Association sponsors.
- HOLD HARMLESS AND INDEMNITY. IN CONSIDERATION OF BEING ALLOWED TO ENTER THE STAR, EACH PERSON AGREES AND CONTRACTS TO INDEMNIFY AND HOLD HARMLESS THE COASTAL CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION, ITS AGENTS, OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, EMPLOYEES, REPRESENTATIVES, AND THE TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR, TOGETHER THE “INDEMNIFIED PARTIES” FROM ALL LOSS, LIABILITY, CLAIMS, OR DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF OR IN ANY WAYCONNECTED WITH THE PLANNING, OPERATION, OR CONDUCT OF THE TOURNAMENT, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO,CLAIMS FOR PERSONAL INJURY, WRONGFUL DEATH, SURVIVAL DAMAGES, PROPERTY DAMAGE, AND CLAIMS RELATING IN ANY WAY TO THE AWARDING OF PRIZES IN THE TOURNAMENT. THE PARENT OR LEGAL REPRESENTATIVE OF A MINOR PARTICIPATING IN THE TOURNAMENT FURTHER AND AGREES TO INDEMNIFY AND HOLD HARMLESS THE INDEMNIFIED PARTIES FROM ALL LOSS BECAUSE OF ANY CLAIMS PRESENTED AGAINST THEM BY OR ON BEHALF OF THEIR CHILD OR WARD. WINNERS WILL HAVE TO EXECUTE ANOTHER RELEASE, INDEMNITY, AND HOLD-HARMLESS AGREEMENT UPON RECEIPT OF PRIZE.