Upon the request of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife Fisheries, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers agreed to allow Mississippi River water from the Port Allen Locks to flow through the Lake Verret and Lake Palourde systems on Oct. 4.
Hurricane Ritas storm surge and heavy rains and winds produced conditions that have reduced water quality in the Lake Verret and Lake Palourde systems. The wind and rain caused organic material from surrounding areas and leaf material from trees to be washed into the water causing a reduction in the oxygen content of the water. The storm surge also pushed saline water into Lake Palourde. These conditions are causing fish kills in these systems from the Bayou Sorrel Locks to the Intracoastal Canal at Amelia.
LDWF hopes that the fresh river water will improve the oxygen content of the water and help to push out the salt water in the lower part of these important recreational and commercial systems.
However, if the Port Allen Locks need to be used for barge traffic, the diversion of water will be halted until the barges are through the locks.
EDITORS: For more information, contact Charlie Dugas at 225-765-2332 or firstname.lastname@example.org.