$2.7 million False River restoration project announced

Staff Writer
Plaquemine Post South

NEW ROADS –Governor Bobby Jindal recently highlighted a $2.7 million restoration project to restore fisheries and water quality in False River.

"Growing up, we all loved making the short trip from Baton Rouge for the great 'trophy' bass fishing and skiing," Jindal said. "Numerous record bass, catfish, and other fish have been pulled out of this lake over the years.

"However, many people that have been fishing here for decades will tell you that things have been changing. They will tell you that they are not catching as many fish and that the fish they do catch are smaller. The water quality in the lake has decreased and too much siltation is getting in here.

The immediate priority of the False River Watershed Council is to construct a terrace for the South Flat. Part of the $2.7 million will be used to design and construct an estimated 16-acre island using over 100,000 cubic yards of dredged sediment.

The construction of the island will help to solidify the dredged sediment and prevent resuspension of the silts that causes turbidity problems on False River. The project is expected to create over 3,500 feet of shoreline habitat, increase water oxygen levels and improve water clarity.

"False River is the economic cornerstone for Pointe Coupee that outside of agriculture sets our parish apart from so many others," State Sen. Rick Ward said. "It is vital that we continue our efforts to restore it to what it once was. I am excited about the progress we have made over the last several years but we still have a long way to go."

Additionally, the state has already been working with local officials to restore fisheries and water quality in False River. The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has stocked the lake with bass and in 2012 released 300,000 red-ear or Chinquapin.

Recently, the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Point Coupee Police Jury, the local Kiwanis Club and private donors helped to construct gravel-spawning beds to help the fish populations in False River.

And for the first time in 20 years, the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Commission opened False River to a commercial fishing season to help reduce the population of the garfish and other rough fish, such as buffalo and carp.