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Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area

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Growing up there was always talk about how the area around lake Maurepas was so great in the late 1970's all the way to late 1980's for waterfowl. My opinion the reason this area fell off the map was because the introduction of Salvania. The Salvania has created a blanket on top of the water and does not let any aquatic vegetation grow, which in return the ducks do not have feed. From above, it doesn't even look to have water in the swamp. The Salvania is so thick from above it looks like land instead of water.
With the recent addition to this management area and with the fee's Louisiana Sportsman pay each year, you would think L.D.W.F. would look into repairing this historic Swamp. I have always wondered how we as sportsman can take a stand to get the ball rolling and restoring this waterfowl sanctuary. Even “The Duck Commander” Phil Roberson has said 'Arkansas Flooded timber does not even compare to Maurepas Swamp when it was in its Prime!'
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   takemking
Or perhaps Ducks Unlimited and Delta Waterfowl would become more involved in restoring these areas. We'll be dead before the government decides to do anything aggressive.
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   vineytree
GADWALL where i hunt it is the same way unfortunately there not going to do anything about it until major recreational waterways suffer the same fate this is the biggest problem facing La. and no one seems to care.
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   Gadwall07
It's so ridiculous that as sportsman and waterfowlers we donate all this money to DU, Delta waterfowl, and even to the ldwf for liscense and all fees they charge us to be able to hunt and we get nothing in return!!
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I could go on and on. I've hunted the flooded Maurepas since 1995. In the late 90's the Mallards were a pain in the azz about jumping our deer,Now, they are gone, due to Salvinia. DU and Delta Waterfowl have done zero to counter this. I put them on notice.
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   vineytree
Fellows we need to get organized on this issue and take the bull by the horns. Keep this post at the top of the page the more attention it receives the better for us im willing to do whatever i can to help out.
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   cmk07c
Major propblem is that we played God and altered the Mississippi River, not only has it affected the swamp, norco swamp, Lake Ponchatrain, manchac and all the flooded timber in SE louisiana, it has altered the marsh too. Thousands of acres are lost every year. And its awful...

Can't have it both ways though, the river is damned and leveed up to prevent NOLA and its surronding cities, towns and communities from flooding. I don't understand how they can't divert some of the water into the swamp? It would be nice to get an update, what happened with the weveel (spelling) bugs that were supposed to come and eat the invasive salvania and hycenith. Do they just not make it through the winter or did they not want to fully introduce that bug? I know they pulled the bugs from Leon County and Jefferson County, Florida and I'm not buying the excuse that they can't survive the winter, because Leon County, Florida is actually North of where the swamp is. Like others have said, I would donate a heck of a lot if it would bring back the timber hunting.

Viney, you are on to something, might not be a bad idea to get others alike and with the support of existing groups/orginizations/political action comittees create a cause/group. Only problem with getting the support (cough, cough, money) is that like all fundraising 10% of the people contribute 90% of all funds. Therefore it would take someone big and important to get this pushed in front of the right people. Best that can be done for the time being is to harp on WLF, and your state legislators. But once again, that Legislator wants to hear it from someone important or either a WHOLE bunch of us!
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   vineytree
Couldn't agree more cmk it will take a bunch of us thats why we need to keep this post at the top of the page and if everyone who has hunted in Louisiana's flooded timber would pitch in we will get something accomplished. P.S. if we get rid of the SALVANIA today it will still take several years to get the habitat back to what it once was.
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   cmk07c
Viney, I'll bump this thread to the top everyday if I have to, but like we said its going to take a bunch of us. I think a better route would be to get some really big players to push the issue. The trickle down affect that it would have if the swamp came back would be amazing. What is good for the swamp is good for all the surronding WMA's, the private leases in the area, North of the Lake, and pretty much everyone within 50 miles. It isn't anything for a duck to range MILES upon MILES a day. Anyone that reads this thread know anyone who is high enough up with WLF or whatever comittee(s) in the state chambers that are in charge of this stuff? It would help if we knew who was pulling the strings in past projects. What agencies and people were in charge of bringing the bugs in, digging the canals, purchasing the new acreage and the people in charge of the 'diversion' talk. Those of us active in DU chambers need to spread the word and just network to get ideas and people at the table.
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while I agree that restricting the Miss. River has affected all of South Louisiana, the Salvinia problem has nothing to do with that. Salvinia is a Brazilian water plant brought into the U.S. for water gardens, much like the Water Hyacinth that clogs many bayous.

This is a man made problem that deserves a man made solution. Where is DU? Delta Waterfowl? They spend all of their time in the midwest and Canada.
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   cmk07c
I agree, definitely a man made problem, but theory is that if the swamp flooded every spring wouldn't the invasive species come and go and not be a longstay? If they do figure it out, they dang sure need to ban the sale of that aquatic plant. I know its illegal in LA and TX, but it needs to be banned throughout all Gulf Coast and anything below the hard, hard freeze line. Any idea if this gets around as easily as say hydrilla? I know if you don't hose your prop off good, odds are you transport hydrilla from water bodies with ease? All this talk about restoring the cypress swamps makes me wish I was around to see it in the hay day. For some reason those stories don't get old...
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   Live2Hunt
It is a dead Swamp.
Another great resurce is LSU are they Looking into the weevils.
Our state representatives should be pushing for the diversion canals.
We should be hearing more about the weevils let every sportsman have a small weevil farm if need.
Its a shame that such a once productive swamp is DEAD.
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   Gadwall07
While I Do agree a diversion would help this area greatly I do not think it will bring the ducks back to this area. The whole problem is there is no open water or feed for them. From above it looks like land. An example is the Atchafalaya, that is pretty much a large diversion which gets a good flush each year but the salvania problem there is horrible and getting worse each year. Talking to some of the local duck hunters in that area that have hunted the area for many years they are saying the exact same thing, 'Each year the salvania gets worse the duck numbers go down.
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   vineytree
By the way I don't hunt in Maurepas ,but I am willing to help any area in the state so that we can prove this problem can be solved. We have to make a stand now to ensure future generations will be able to enjoy what we once took for granted. SALVANIA is the biggest problem facing the state it's time for some action.
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   cmk07c
Viney, I don't hunt this area either, now if it came to potential I would dang sure look into it. I have to admit even though it is dead it still intrigues me, same goes for Joyce. Fixing the problem in this area would help get ideas and resolutions for other areas. There has to be some back story to these weevils. If it is as easy as it sounds why hadn't we transplanted massive ammounts of these bugs? Any biologist have any insight on this matter?
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Please keep this post at the top of the list. I personally watched it ruin a honey hole in Joyce over the last three years. Well, salvinia and swarms of hunters who have no waterfowl etiquette. I have noticed that it starts to die off in the later months of winter so i would assume that the best time to control the plant would be march or april.
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   redfish19
I live right down the road from the launch and never hunt it because there just isn't any ducks...it would be great TP get to drive 5min and to hint instead of 2hrs to the wax or 1:45 min to Indian bayou etc etc...now about Joyce yal paddle in off i51 and hunt it(think that's the hwy)? Everytome I've ever passed it looks to shallow to paddle in to and I've been to the south end of north pass and it jus don't seem like it'd hold any ducks
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   vineytree
We can make it like it used to be we need millions of beetles and some diesel lol. I FEEL A STORM BLOWING IN.
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   woodyswat
its not only the salvania though, the cypress in the swamp grew up also...there is no place for the ducks to land even if the salvania was gone.
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   redfish19
I think the diesel is for that cypress growth
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   JWTaylor
There is a diversion in the works that will provide water from the Mississippi river thru the 16 miles of swamps and canals to the lake. One of the issues is dead water (Black and clear) which allows sunlight to penetrate to the bottom and allows the grass to grow. The water needs to be moving and murky to help with the grass problems and also water level controls so that underbrush and new trees can sprout for wildlife. A plan is available from ACE. Might need a few lightning strikes might help too
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   redfish19
Yea I been hearing about that diversion for years ain't seen one step of progress on it though...proly never will
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Good thread. Something needs done!
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   swampfoxx
http://lacoast.gov/new/Projects/Info.aspx?num=PO-29
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   swampfoxx
http://lacoast.gov/reports/managers.asp?projectNumber=PO-29
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   swampfoxx
Ken Teague
Project Manager
EPA Region 6 (6WQ-EMC)
1445 Ross Ave.
Dallas, TX 75202-27
• Jeff Landry (R)
3rd District of Louisiana
Washington
206 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-4031
Fax: (202) 226-3944

Houma
423 Lafayette St., Suite 107
Houma, LA 70360
Phone: (985) 879-2300
Fax: (985) 879-2306

New Iberia
301 East St. Peter St., Suite 102
New Iberia, LA 70560
Phone: (337) 359-9080
Fax: (337) 359-9090

I say we give them a call iquring as to how long till we get the ball rolling in the right direction on this. It's a start.
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I do not have a solution , but there has to be one available. For some reason , it's on the back burner . Some type of herbicide or other tool has to be on the table and is not being used due to cost etc . If Sportsmen keep it in the forfront with La Wildlife and Fisheries and in the newspaper via letters maybe some good will eventually come of it . I hunted the Maurepas basin in the 70's and early 80's and it was a real waterfowl mecca . In the mid 80's it started slowing and then salvinia ruined it .
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   noose374
Is Salvinia just the latest thing that we are blaming the lack of mallards in southeast Louisiana on? Even if this diversion project was built and the Salvinia was killed and removed, would the ducks know? Would they return? With the changing weather patterns, better conservation practices and the shift towards No-Till agriculture in the Midwest, do mallards have to come this far south anymore? And do we need the mallards? Our marsh fills with grey ducks and teal every year about this time, no matter what the weather is. Don’t get me wrong, I would LOVE a public place to hunt flooded timber that is close to home, but is managing these 100,000 acres for duck hunting worth the cost?

Great thread!
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wtf are you talking about???? Just 12 years ago this swamp was filled with mallards, thousands of birds were jumped by deer hunters before daylight. You need to get a clue.
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   cmk07c
Yes the birds would come back, not overnight, but they would gradually start returning. Keep in mind it hopefully would help with Joyce and Manchac as well. Right? Besides just because its flooded timber doesn't mean the grays and teal that are in the marsh wouldn't utilize the swamp. I'm sure there's some there now, might not be much, but some. Add in 10 fold the feed and water and i'm sure the teal, gaddys would be 10 fold as well as the mallards. I'm not sold on the Mallards not needing to come this far because of weather changes and ag in the midwest. Freeze line isn't as far north as you think.
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   cmk07c
I'm going to give these guys a call, I find that email works to, because we can send a WHOLE BUNCH of those and continiously send them. I'll post the email tomorrow or someone else can. I'm leaving the office and apparently you have to put in a valid zip code to retrieve it.
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   JWTaylor
Folks, it is a slow process but worth the effort. The minerals that now flow into the Gulf and cause dead waters would go thru 16 miles of woods and fertilize the area and not flow into the Gulf. Trees and underbrush would redevelop and provide a protective barrier to the highlands in St James, Livingston and Ascension parishes. This is a win/win situation for our heirs if we can get this hru all the various agencies. (ACE, BUDMAT, CWPPRA, LCA, LACPR)etc. It will require a comprehensive effort with some win/lost endings but no single approach will work. Try not being in a reactionary mode as land lost and wildlife terrain lost will happen until restoration is in place. We must not on take projects that restore create and protect areas but we neet to restore natural processes whenever possible. This will take shared visions and YOUR involvement is needed so that people entrapped in urban environments have a place to engage in activities that are rural by nature. We can restore this area so crawfishing, crabbing, frogging, fishing, hunting, etc can return. You must become engaged so that peoples efforts are directed at understanding our concerns and issues. Don't Complain unless your are making the effort to attend meeting and express your views and remember it not for 'ME' but our future generations.
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   Gadwall07
As the originator of this post I’d like to say thanks to everyone for all the input, it is nice to know there is other sportsman out there that care about the future as well. After posting this I have been doing some research and trying to do my part in getting the ball rolling! Recently I attended my local Delta Waterfowl banquet only to be disgusted when I left. I gathered a bunch of my duck hunting friends and went to the banquet. I figured it would be a good way for us to donate our money for a good cause and to talk to local Chapter of Delta about the Maurepas Swamp. I found the President of the Local chapter and asked him in the past “Where did the money that was raised at the banquet go towards?” His reply was SHOCKING…. they spent all the money they raised to supply a Boy Scouts Group with a couple Pellet guns, shotguns, and muzzleloaders. I understand it is very important to introduce the youth to hunting because that is future sportsman but, if we don’t take a stand on getting some of these Public lands repaired, there will be no where for them to hunt. Private land is becoming more and more scarce and harder to acquire with Land Owner’s being weary of Law Suits. Public Land is the future and we need to start now in repairing it.
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   vineytree
Gadwall we need to start a new waterfowl organization and get the ball rolling i'll fight with you till the bitter end.
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   Sandman2
I am the chapter chairman that you spoke to at the Delta Waterfowl banquet. I understand and agree with your concerns as I said at the banquet. However the reality of the situation is that Delta Waterfowl returns 25% of banquet profits to the local chapters for use as they see fit. Last year that was a grand total of approximately $800. The most we have ever received in a year through this program was $1000. As you can see, we are not ever going to solve the salvinia problem at Manchac with dollar amounts like that.

I am sorry that you do not agree with the way our chapter chose to use those local funds. We felt that helping the Boy Scouts establish shooting sports programs that will potentially aid in producing new hunters (and conservationists) was a worthy use. Those programs at Camp Avondale took a few hundred dollars a year over a two year period and established a program that introduces hundreds of kids to shooting sports every year. In fact the very first event held after our chapter's initial donation had almost 500 kids participating. I am very happy with the bang for the buck we achieved with an investment of less than $2,000.

As I stood up and announced at the Delta banquet last week, our chapter committee is open to any and all ideas and suggestions for using the funds sent back to us by Delta. I would love to see good hunting restored to Maurepas swamp. Knowing the kinds of dollars we are talking about, if you have an idea of how we can take that money and use it and actually accomplish something with the restoration of that area, I am certainly open to any possibilities.

In our conversation at the banquet, I agreed to try to find out from Delta what was possible in this situation, and I am doing that. I have asked the regional director for information on these types of programs or a contact who handles this type of thing. I will let you know when I find anything out.

Unfortunately, I also read your thread on duckhuntingchat.com, and saw Larry Reynolds (LDWF) response about the costs involved in spraying, and I already know some idea of the costs involved in a diversion (which seems to be the only long-term solution). If those costs are accurate then all the money that Delta raises in an entire year will not even be a blip on the radar screen, so my hopes are not high that the answer will come through any conservation organization. I think ultimately this problem is going to have to be solved (funded) by the government. But, as I agreed to do, I will find out what I can and pass that on.

I am truly sorry that you feel that your support and contributions to Delta were a waste. I believe that Delta's (and DU's) work on the breeding grounds is very important, as breeding grounds are disappearing even faster than salvinia is spreading down here, and if no ducks are hatched, all the open water in world down here will not draw any ducks. We can't ignore either the breeding grounds or the wintering grounds, and with limited resources (money), we have to strike a balance and address both as much as possible. Additionally, our sport as a whole is dying, with fewer hunters in our country every year. So what is the biggest threat? No breeding grounds, no wintering grounds, or no hunters? Any of the three can end our sport.

We appreciate your support in coming to our banquet and hope you will reconsider your point of view and attend again next year. In the meantime, I am completely serious when I say that our chapter committee will listen to any idea that anyone brings forward to make good use of the local funds Delta is sending to us. But if you don't put forth any ideas of your own, then please don't belittle the hard work that the committee members (usually 3 or 4 in a chapter) do to put on these events and find worthy uses for these local funds. None of these guys are paid a dime, most are taking time off of work and spending a fair amount of their own money, and I believe that they are doing a great job.
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   rvsteele
Thanks for posting the response from Delta Waterfowl. I think most will agree that introducing new hunters to the sport is very important. Some are just clearly frustrated with the situation.

One possible solution off the top of my head is creating a fund specifically for this issue. While it may be likely that most won't put their money where their mouth is, a single benefactor with passion for this issue and money could make a difference. Such a benefactor may already exist with no idea on how to go about getting something done. A single fund through an organization like Delta Waterfowl with all donations going to the single issue could help consolidate support and potentially get something done.

Good huntin!
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   Gadwall07
Delta

I’d like to start off by apologizing for the way the post read. After rereading my post I wish it would not have read the way it did. I’m sorry if it seems I “bashed” the way Delta spent their money. I would like to thank all of you for donating all of your time to Delta. I agree young people are the future.

Although, I can also argue the point that restoring LOCAL habitat for Wintering Ducks would be a better use of the funds than the Purchasing of guns for the Boy Scouts. If these kids do not have any “good“, cheap places for their fathers to take them; how many of them do you think will actually pursue Duck Hunting. Think about this…. how many out of the 500 kids will be Doctors or Lawyers and actually be able to afford to pay 5 - 10,000 for a duck lease every year? Waterfowl hunting is coming down to who has the extra money to get on a “high dollar duck lease.” It shouldn’t be that way, the State and Federal Government own plenty of public land for waterfowler’s to hunt. It just has been “run down.” In my opinion the future of duck hunting is in public land.

With all of this being said I agree our local chapter can not afford to totally restore this area. But, we have to start somewhere. We can’t just keep poor mouthing we don’t have the money. It is going to take an established organized group (with a cause) like Delta or DU to even begin to persuade the politicians that this would be a good Project.

Thanks for all the information. Please keep us informed on what the main Delta Waterfowl chapter has to say about the issue.

P.S. The purpose of this post is not to step on anyone’s toes and I hope no one has been offended. The reason I posted this is to gain knowledge on this issue and to find out what it takes to organize something to take a stand on this issue.
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   JWTaylor
I found the topic of discussion interesting and Delta Waterfowl's contribution did get a big bang for the investment. Many of these children could grow up to join the anti-gun crowd but now at least somewhat understand what the term firearm means and a purpose. I am a contributor to DU, Delta Waterfowl, CCA and several other organizations like East Ascension Sportsman League that has lots of activities in our local area. Google their website and see some of the projects and task. I would think that Delta could partner with the Boy Scouts / LDWF and for a small price purchase lumber that the scouts could build wood duck boxes and install on the WMA. This could amount to only a few but could evolve into a yearly project that would take these kids out to clean the install boxes and install new boxes. It would also give some guidance into wildlife habitat, allow them to earn a variety of badges from bird identification to woodwork. I am sure a campout could be included in this yearly activity (St. James Boat Club or private camp where they could get additional badges for fishing, cooking, helping neighbor, etc. There is always something one can do LOCAL for our wildlife but I will continue to support the large organization also. Thanks for an interesting post.
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   Sandman2
No apologies are needed. Strong feelings on issues like this are what get things done. Our chapter has discussed the idea of building wood duck boxes / henhouses, etc. with the Boy Scouts, and we are certainly open to that. That kind project we can handle, and it may very well happen. As they told me, those type of projects are most often organized by an Eagle Scout candidate as his service project. I have told them that any time they have a candidate interested in that type of project, that our chapter would be happy to help with resources and funding. I will also bring it up with the local scoutmaster and see if there is any interest as a general project for the troop.

As I said before, we are willing to listen to any ideas for productive ways to put our share of the local banquet proceeds to work. We are not committed to anything, and always want to find something better.

The salvinia issue is tough. I know LDWF spends millions of dollars every year spraying, and it grows right back. Neither Delta or DU can even make a dent in this, even at the national level. Granted, my scientific knowledge is limited, but it seems like the best bet for a long term solution is a diversion to keep a flow of fresh water through the area. That has to come from the government, both because of the cost and because it would require property acquisition, Corps of Engineers permits and studies, etc. It seems there is an idea in place and the beginning stages of a plan being put together, but these things move slow. The best thing we can all do is call, write or email our Senators and Representatives and push them to get behind this. If they hear from enough people/voters, they will listen.
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   Gadwall07
Like I mentioned earlier I do not think the diversion is the answer to getting this area back to it's potential. Although, it would help. It will not stop the main cause of the decline, which is the Salvania. Look at the atchafalaya spillway which has plenty of fresh water flowing through it, yet they are seeing there duck populations decline drastically with the spread of this horrible plant!
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   cmk07c
Realistically, is this diversion going to happen. As the timeline shows its still in an engineering/research mode. Are the funds by the federal and state agencies there or is this a 'tenatiave' project?
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   bobbyg40
It's not just salvania fly ways do change and ducks don't eat sugar cane.
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   Gadwall07
Man I would have to disagree with your opinion that this flyway has totally changed. I've had some great hunts in the prairie in Manchac. We killed a good variety of ducks and that's what..... Maybe 5 miles away.

I've also hunted as a guest in this area on some private land last year and killed mallard, pintail, teal and a few gadwall right ahead of a front. The birds were there for 1 maybe 2 days and then gone. There just isn't good enough habitat to keep the birds here anymore.

Ask any one that has hunted Manchac that place is the definition of hit or miss hunting area. If you hunt it just ahead of a good cold front you can be quite successful, miss it by a day or two and it’s horrible and you’d swear there had never been duck within 50 miles of that place!
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And he is serious about doing whatever he can. We need to develop a River Parishes Bureau of DF, there are at least hundreds, if not thousands who used to duck hunt this swamp, and the pure shame of it is the we have over 100,000 acres of swamp that were private and filled wwith 1million mallards or more just 20 years ago.
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There is some small public lakes in the basin area that my cousin said are loaded with ducks. I am going to go check it out at least it has freshwater flowing through it and its not a dead swamp.
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I can gaurentee that the problem is the lack of sediment flow... I have hunted those areas my whole life and its dying a quick death now.. The marsh is further encroaching on the swamp every year and killing the trees. the swamp is getting deeper and deeper...

Plus though the salvania is bad there is still lots of that swamp that is free of it. You go back far enough and its clear, but there is still no feed or growth

Even if you killed the salvania it wouldnt matter cause the swamp will still die and still recede away, so there would still be no game...

Unless diversions are opened then there will be no living swamp to even have the salvania issue...

Makes me sick everytime i am back there which is all my free time in the winter.
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I agree with trout assassin. A diversion is crucial to the revitalization of thr swamp. What is needed is fresh water from the river to replenish the system. A true fix would be to let mother nature take back over and blow up the levees and let the river once again control thr swamps. Now I ain't saying to do that but it would fix it. The real problem is thr levees, think about it. Before levees these swamps were formed bc the river flooded them every year. They were low lying areas so they held water until the river replenished it thr next year. But now these swamps have no way of getting fresh water bc of levees and they are never replenished. So diversion will be a major factor in helping the swamp. Now there are a heck of a lot of other problems. Salvinia, dredging causing unnatural straigt line waterways, pollution, and sediment rich water from farm run off that creates algae plumes. Even with these problems, a diversion would put us on the right track o getting a healthy swamp. Not only maurapas but all thr swamps in Louisiana. the atchafalaya, in the coast everywhere. I am willing to do anything to help with this cause I am glad this thread was started. Hopefully someone in the ldwf is listening. After all they are state employees and serve the interest of thr people and our states resources.
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In a short paragraph describe what area and what year you hunted in maurespas swamp? Im just trying to get a survey of the general population of this thread!
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I mainly hunt Joyce, i have been from one end to the next including the areas in the center. Used to duck hunt manchac... Hunt Maurepaus, mostly the eastern tract along hwy 51. Basically north of I10 from maurepaus to Lake ponchartrain... Been around reserve canal and all as well.
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I hunt Maurepas North of I 10 and West of I 55. The last time I saw large numbers of Mallards was around 1997-1999, the Salvinia was taking over then. There are still some Wood Ducks, but not as many as back then.
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...I made a few hunts N-10 and W-55 about 1000 yrds in there was a cement platform a guy named 'Bert 'da Plumber' put me on...you had to stand on it to keep from gett'n trampled !!!...the date was about 1976 ???...cheers
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In my previous posts, I may have been too hard on DU and DWF. sorry
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...as the witty Capt.JLT might have said...'Looks like Hoppy went to the Wailing Wall...bless'em all...'da old 'da young and 'da tall' !!!...cheers to'ya !!!
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In ducks unlimited defense why would they sink money into something that our on state wont... Short of diversions whataver DU did for the area would be short lived unless our state steps up
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Adm, I miss Capt JLT, he was taken from us way too early.
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...yea 'ya right Will,I hossed and sparred w/him first time about a year before Katrina and he always ran me in circles and won !!! (think his IQ was way over 200)...the night it happened we were rapp'n about baits just 3 or 4 hrs before he passed...also he was going out his way to help a friend that was interested in Geaux Coastal camp...seems 'ya had to know him to see he was AAA !!!...cheer
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What if the state of Louisiana started a outdoorsman lottery? $2 ticket with a grand prize winning up to $1,000. All the rest of the money made by the lottery go into and only into the wild life funds. Use that money to start repairing our swamps and coastal waters. And as far as coastal restoration they seem to say how hard it is to replace our barrier islands and how much the cost would be. I think in my own opinion they should take the out of service barges off the MS river and put them out by the gulf and inland waters. Pump them full of sand from the gulf. Its heavy enough to hit the bottom and not move. It may even help fish hang around the structures. This should also allow sand to build up around them and maybe make a few more islands build up in those areas. What do you guys think?
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   Gadwall07
I copied this from another forum:

What about using one of the gs machine that are designed to chop and burn the salvania? A co-worker dad made a machine, proved that it worked, took it to the state legislature and congress trying to get permission to use it on public waterways. The ldwf is the main opponent he's fighting, because they dont want to loose funding for chemical treatments on local waterways. His machine pulls it on a conveyor, chops it in a shredder then runs it across a burner to kill it and then can dump it back in the water. It has been tested by biologist and proven that the discharge is in fact dead and can't regrow.

Any one have more info on this?
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   huntnut
You guys need to start reading the Sportsman magazine. LDWF is getting ready to waste millions and millions of dollars on a redfish hatchery that will not do ANYTHING for the state. They could easily spend the untold millions we are getting ready to waste on these three hatcheries to help get rid of salvinia. Everyone knows its a waste of money but nobody cares, or worse yet, no one even knows about it. Wake up!
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   CaptJS
The time you are talking about people use to crawfish all along that hwy and catch them by the tons. Not many crawfish there now and the trees are all dead from the saltwater.
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Don't know how much participation you would getting but how about starting y'all s own conservation group to raise money to fix these problems waiting on someone else won't do anything I would imagine a lot of se louisianans would much rather see there money go to this area than to du or delta nothing against anyone or any organization. Just my 2cents
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   Gadwall07
I just do not understand why there is places like Point Aux Chene that receives so much attention with constant work and improvments by LWF. Yet, we have a beautiful swamp with great potential that receives NOTHING.
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It will take much money to spray every inch of the swamp for several years .I have no idea how long seeds or pieces of plant that will regenerate can lay dormant . Between water hyacinths and salvinia the swamp is in bad shape.I keep thinking one of the flood events from hurricanes maybe would float the invasive plants out of the swamp but apparantly that wont work.
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   Gadwall07
Bump
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All I hear is stories from my dad and grandpa and what it used to be like. Stories of seeing so many ducks it was like a tornado. Wish is was still like that today I'd do anything to see it like it was.
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Bringing this issue back to the top. Has anyone heard anything further on the salvani situation in the maurespas area? I've heard that there was a machine invented that would suck the weed up chop it and burn it to kill it. The LDWF won't approve it because they say it will also kill all of the eggs and small fish that go through also. I personally feel that the advantages of ridding the salvania out of our swamps would outweigh the loss of a small percentage of aquatic life. Every so often the swamp is flooded with saltwater and kills a lot of the fish and other animals that rely on freshwater but they seem to bounce back. If we could rid the huge mats of salvania out of the swamp after a few years of it being able to breathe again i believe it will be teaming with wildlife (ducks) once agin. Does anyone know of any orginizations that are dedicated to this cause?
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   mojjo21
Bump back to top. I'm curious what has changed over the past few years and if anybody found anything new out.
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   Ricky Pon
To start off, i will bump this post everyday for quite some time. I find this topic interesting, and i want to know where all the fire went that was present throughout this thread.

I read pretty much everything minus a few rants here and there, and here are my thoughts.

This will rattle some feathers.
Concerning the guns that Delta Waterfowl donated to the Boy Scouts. Say what you want, but i think that is pretty ridiculous. With a name like 'Delta Waterfowl' i would hope that you can find a better way (maybe something that involves the delta or waterfowl) to use donated money than buy pellet guns for some boy scouts. Yes you can make the argument that it was for the kids and you had a big return (imaginary) on your your members donations, but i think an organization as big as the boy scouts could do a fundraiser to buy themselves pellet guns. You did state it was less than $2000, but it is the principle of the fact. Duck hunting is much more than just shooting a gun. I like the idea of supplying wood duck box materials, and have them assemble, place, and maintain them. This gives them much more of a 'Waterfowl' experience than shooting a pellet gun. It also shows them the benefit and ease of use of public land.

Delta or Ducks Unlimited would have no interest in restoring this swamp. Our state government wants nothing to do with it so why would it benefit them to do so. Plus i think it is a little too far south for DU's liking.

Throughout this thread, no one tossed out any numbers for the diversion. From a report in 2001, the estimated cost all the way to phase II was ~$50 million. The link below from 2014 shows an estimated cost of $186 million. So something happened that more than tripled the price. I know thats a lengthy timespan between estimates but wow.

https://www.restorethegulf.gov/sites/default/files/Mississippi%20River%20Reintroduction%20into%20Maurepas%20Swamp.pdf

Everyone keeps saying to spray spray spray. From my understanding, the chemical kills the salvania, but it just comes right back. We are talking about thousands and thousands of acres. Even with a huge crew, by the time they 'finish' spraying once they would have to start over. So if spraying is the answer, a new chemical needs to be made.

Is there any validity to LDWF turning down the salvania machine? If so, it is understandable that they would not want to lose their contract to an extent. But maybe since the problem is so bad at Maurepas, it should be considered a special project and allow the machines to be reproduced and used in that area. The area could also be used as a test subject for the salavania control.
Also, if the machine works as they say it does, it would make more sense for the state to reward him handsomely for coming up with this design and buy the patent. In the long run it saves money running a machine that kills the salvania permanently versus using spray as a bandaid.
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The machine would be pretty worthless out at Maurepas. The salvinia isn't just floating in the middle of canals. It is all throughout the swamp in the trees and in the grass. The machine can't get to it all. If you do not get EVERY single plant hen it will just keep coming back. It can reproduce by cloning and can multiply very fast. LDWF could spend its entire budget fighting invasive and wouldn't do much long term to combat them
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I have a camp on Tickfaw and use to hunt in the WMA, easy to get wood ducks but thats about it, we shot a few mallards last year and they probably got lost. Salvinia has taken over the timber bad, nothing like the old pictures
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   puldeaux
I grew up on south pass right across from the SLU camp, my dad shed soft crabs. I killed my first deer in a big living cypress tree on what was the south end of Joyce off of old 51 (the south end now is about three miles from that tree). That was 1988. That tree is now dead and you can barely walk in that area with low water; forget about walking this year with the high water. I now have a camp on Tangipahoa river and spend a bunch of time fishing, hunting, birdwatching, or just enjoying the view from Tickfaw River to the Tchefuncte River. My dad who is a retired biologist, fisherman, trapper preached to us for years that the only thing that can help this estuary is DIVERSIONS. He recognized this 40 years ago. If we don't have a big real diversion we can all forget about the cypress forest and habitat. We should already be opening the Bonne Carrie every year in the fall and winter. Why not? We could close it before the hot weather and algae blooms. Why not open the diversion canal to the Mississippi RIver? Isn't that why it was dug and named the diversion canal? FRESHWATER IS THE ONLY OPTION!!! FRESHWATER IS THE KEY!! Yet we cannot even get publications like this website Louisiana Sportsman to fully completely get behind diversions and make it the #1 issue for all sportsman in this great state. We can spend money spraying salvinia, building levees, dredging islands, whatever it's all for naught. Until we get real volume diversions we are DONE. DIVERSIONS ARE THE ANSWER AND WE MUST START NOW!!!! We can argue about DU and Delta and the chicken scratch money they spend while our elected officials piss away the 50 billion BP money that fell from the sky. Its time for us to unite and demand real diversions from Morgan City to Pearl RIver we are all affected!! LOOK AT ALL THE LAND WE ARE DUMPING INTO THE GULF OF MEXICO!!!
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guys we need to get organized and speak up against these issues! the people of louisiana should have more say so in what is being done to affect our duck hunting! we see the problems because this our land, its painstakingly ovbious to most people that are from here what needs to be done! one unified voice from everybody who hunts/fishes in this great state needs to be heard!!
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   noose374
I'm all for getting rid of the salvinia and restoring the habitat in Maurepas Swamp. I would even love to see a freshwater diversion, although that doesn't seem feasible at all. But I still don’t see how this would make the ducks come back?!?! Agriculture has changed since the 1990’s. In 2000, less than 5% of Mid-West farms used no-till farming. This means that most of the leftover grains were tilled into the soil, unreachable to ducks. But since then, no-till has taken over. This leaves thousands of pounds of grain on the ground, easily accessible to ducks. These same ducks that use to winter in South LA now sit in grain fields in the Mid-West. Why would they leave this buffet? When the Maurepas Swamp restoration in complete, years from now, how would they know? And, would they remember how to get here since 99% of the Mallards who used Maurepas Swamp will be long dead by then.
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   puldeaux
Why is a freshwater diversion not feasible? Is there not one happening right now with the opening of the spillway. There is a diversion planned in the state master plan. We would see real numbers of ducks if we had a large scale diversion on the west side of Lake Maurepas.
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   noose374
It just seems difficult, logistically. Look at the Caernarvon and Violet Diversions. They only have to cross St. Bernard Hwy, a levee and some batture (about 200 yards total). Is the water from the proposed Maurepas Diversion also coming from the river? If so, it would have to cross Airline, I-10. Would it somehow link up with Blind River? That is about 4 miles away.
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This is old, but was at the top of the google results and contains discussions on potential diversion sites.

http://lacoast.gov/reports/project/3891453~1.pdf
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we need to tighten the laws on how farmers deal with their excess grain that is not harvested and left on the ground! i understand there are laws in place to control the issue, but ITS NOT ENOUGH! when you start farming grain feilds and heating ponds specifically for ducks, you are deliberatly altering their migration patterns! why would they want to move when everything they need is being hand fed to these birds? Don't give me wrong, I am a firm believer in the conservation and preservation of the sport, I have no trouble abiding by bag limits or any hunting regulation! But I and everybody else who hunts these birds would like to see more throughout the year! Something needs to be done weither its enforcing more laws against farmers and land owners in the north, altering the 'traditional' season dates, making more of an effort to combat invasive grasses such as salvaynia and water lillies, or adding freshwater diversions! Louisiana is getting the short end of the stick when it comes to duck hunting these days and we need to speak up!
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   Ricky Pon
I agree with what you say for the most part. It is hard for Louisiana to argue when it comes to harvest numbers and lack of ducks. Ignore this season because it was a wash and waste of time for most people.
We shoot more ducks than anyone, every year by a long shot. We more than doubled Arkansas for 2013-2014 season, and we dominate the Mississippi flyway.
As far as the fields go, if people are not allowed to hunt agriculture fields then the ducks really would not have a reason to move. Having this added pressure is better for us in the long run versus no hunting. I do agree that there are some questionable practices up North. I think they allow for a lot more play in the grey area. Some people down here put a bucket of molasses in a 1 acre pond and are labeled a criminal. I see no difference in putting milo in a pond, and hunting a freshly harvested corn field. The ducks are coming there for the food. Nothing else. That's not fair when you consider what goes on up north. It's s federal bird and the tolerance of enforcement should stay the same throughout the flyway.

One thing that does piss me off big time is heated ponds. I think that is worse than baiting a pond. A while back I had multiple pictures of wooducks eating corn under my feeder. This was in a field and in no way considered a duck hunting habitat. But I have a pond ~1000 yards away where I would shoot wood ducks. Just to be safe I called LDWF and explained my situation. I wanted to know if having that feeder there made it illegal to hunt the pond. They said absolutely. And his reasoning was that I was 'altering a birds natural flight'

I see no difference with heating a pond.
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Heated ponds? Any pics of those?
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   Ricky Pon
Heated is kind of a vague term. They mostly use sunken propellers on a frame powered by a battery or generator. They do add some heat to the water but it breaks up the ice through agitation. They do have some that have heat coils.
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Yeah the term 'heated ponds' is false. But like everything else if people keep saying it over and over.....
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   noose374
So, river water kills Salvinia? They must have a different type of invasive weed in Bienvenue, Caernarvon and Violet, cause it came with the river water...
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   bullcoon
NO river water won't kill salvinia...But it WILL save what little swamp and marsh is left...And maybe even bring some back...One thing is a FACT...Keep on doing NOTHING and pissing away money on studies and we will have NOTHING...Studies have been done and when there is any money coming in such as bp suddenly those studies are outdated and we need new ones...DO NOTHING GET NOTHING...
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On the lease we used to hunt on we used to kill limits on every hunt. The main reason was because we had an abundance of wigeon grass. But when the salvinia moved in it covered it up and killed it, and whatever sprouts were left were killed when we sprayed to kill the salvinia
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   noose374
What year was that?
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...use caution the 'Crazy Man of Manchac' is now on social security but still loose ???...(ask the old folks)...cheers
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   noose374
We have widgeon grass in our marsh in Chalmette and it is all over the Northshore, but no Mallards...
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   lanco1
Salvinia is a super difficult issue to deal with, possibly regular spring diversion of significant volume to raise water levels and 'flush' the area out might help but practically spraying is not going to work. As far as mallards even if we eradicated all invassives and had a beautiful live cypress swamp I doubt many mallards would be killed. Ducks yes, mallards no. Migration patterns for mallards have changed to the pint that mallards no make up > 10% of LA duck harvest. For whatever reason they just aren't making it south. I doubt the reason is the degradation of the Manchac/Maurepas Swamp. Doesn't mean we shouldn't try to restore and preserve the area, just that we need realistic expectations.
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   mojjo21
I've been researching the garyvillediversion canal more and it seems like the state is just holding it off for some reason. Hell with the money that we dish out on useless stuff, we could find it easy. The project is on the 'top five priority list' of the state. Supposedly it's starting construction this year but each PDF document I find says something different. The longer we wait, the worse it'll be and more money it will cost.

Here's my theory on ducks...
All the ducks stay up north and mostly never make it all the way down here. Why would they? They have better habitat and weather up there. On top of that, less hunting pressure with fields full of food.
If they come down here, they have more pressure. Obviously Louisiana has the highest number of hunters based on numbers, but everyone piles into one area (go to the prairie in manchac opening day and you'll find out). The ducks know of only the water that people pile up in and not about the water in the swamp because it's not showing from above because of the salvania and floaton choking it up. If the swamp was restored, it would give birds more places to go with less pressure. There is thousands upon thousands of acres of swamp there where the birds can go to rest with no pressure. They just don't know to go in that swamp anymore and instead they go to the 'hunting hotspots'.
I was talking to someone the other day that said 'the birds are gonna lose it in there genetics to come down here and go to a certain area where their ancestors have gone.' This gave me low hopes but I have faith that a new generation of ducks will come through and explore and get it back in there genetics to come here only after the swamp is restored.
One other thing is hunter ethics. Jesus Christ nobody seems to have hunter ethics now;such as everybody my age (I'm 19) has a surface drive with loud exhaust and just runs and jumps up birds and scares them off or sky bust or shooting every bird they see without any intention of eating it or just throwing birds away.
Hell I would even think about when (if) the swamp is restored; to raise wild ducks, band them, and release them into the swamp at a proper time to migrate with other birds and hopefully teach them to migrate back to this area. Yes, I know that's illegal but biologist could probably do it.
Does anybody know when a public meeting will be held on the 'maurepas Mississippi reintroduction diversion canal'?
Thanks everyone in advance

First pucture is down tickfaw and it's full of trash from floating debris.
Second picture is off reserve canal and that run is so bad on floaton, its not even worth the work to get a boat back there. You can't even walk it cause you'll sink so it's not even navigable barely. Only at end of duck season it is from some brave soul busting open the run.
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   mojjo21
We have camp down tickfaw and every run is damn near this bad.
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Buddy of mine from Abita KC's said he saw plenty of mallards on his last trip to Maurepas and I have yet to get the notion to venture out that way,particularly since I was seeing quite a few nice greys a tad East.Unfortunately,they seem to have vaporized and not sure where they went,though last hunt I made was last Saturday and me and a buddy counted at least 18 trucks,not including his and mine.Luckily,I guess,for he and I,we only ran into 3 sets of hunters and one was guy hunting solo and we had absolutely nothing to shoot at,except for 3 greys that appeared and I made the decision to fire at most one shot at them as we had 2 fellows walking the marsh directly across from us and I figured these greys would flare if they saw the guys making their way back to the launch.They may have worked,though very doubtful as these late-season greys have been anything but cooperative.Have decent visual evidence of some decent deer activity on my hunt club and may sandwich few bow hunts in between duck trips to round out season.Did shoot mottled duck last week and HUGE difference between local mottleds and true black I killed,not sure how anyone could mistake one for the other,especially if ya got both on hand at de same time.I would love trophy 8 pt for wall and if it don't happen,so be it!!
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In response to Duckhunter 7777,not sure what the Maurepas WMA looks like or any of the other Tangi WMA's as I personally have not scouted nor hunted any of them and buddy of mine just sent me text regarding a tragic camp fire that claimed the life of a guy who apparently was asleep while his camp caught fire.From what I have been told,there are some woodies in all of those WMA's and Joyce most definitely has some from what buddies tell me.That area,area 9 closes on Feb 15th,so a bow hunter might extend his season til Feb 15th and I intend to hit my St Tammany deer club stand a few times this week before season end.Saw plenty of game cam pics but mostly nocturnal deer activity with two exceptions.Did see trophy 8 pt in quite a few frames and big bobcat apparently spooked bunch of does.
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The tangipahoa river on joyce wma is what i was referring to. Thanks
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There most definitely are woodies there and I went down the Tangi last year while a buddy went the other way(I went South off the Lee's Landing Launch and he headed North)and I did see a few squirrels,though not too many and I was paddling my Chapman scoping out some potential places to ambush hogs or deer and was the only time I have visited Joyce,probably not bad place for late-season deer!
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Used to hunt the prairie back in the '70s when Hugo Sucoro would give permission letters to hunt his trapping lease.
Limits were easy with the old point system. Heh. Lots of mallards and just about every type of duck flew there. Point system then steel shot and I folded and left the table. Back then steel shot would push through the war and ruin your barrel.
Sad to watch that swamp and prairie die. On top the I-55 I can see Lake Pontchartrain water just past Ruddock while looking east. Fewer trees and dead or dying ones left. Since the 60s, watch 200 yards of land wash away at the end of Frenier Rd. That little thing in the water with the ladder was in the trees at one time. Used to catch crawfish around it. What to do? Can you bring back to life something with terminal cancer?
Funny how things grow that you don't want. Like weeds in a garden.
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   puldeaux
We can bring it back to life, we need to give it fresh water. We need to let nature do what it has done before. We need to open up the Mississippi River on the west side Lake Maurepas. There is a diversion project in the state master plan for a sediment/freshwater diversion on the west side of the Lake. We need to hold our elected officials accountable and make sure we do not squander this BP money and spend it on something else.
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Only true way to undo the giant cluster F that's been created not only in maurapas but all along our coast is to blow the damn levees up. Just west of Vacherie looks like a nice spot to me. Build levees in the populated areas, Elevate highways, do what has to be done if people insist on living in a floodplain. Let ol' muddy do her thing in the southeast corner of our state. We could build all the diversion canals we want but Mother Nature can't be replicated. Would the Corp have built them in the first place had they known the devastating ramifications to our marsh they would have in only 80 years? Maybe. But it's a nearly century old mistake that needs to be corrected before we have nothing left... Like yesterday.
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   Lreynolds
Also remember that 'impounding' is causing a lot of damage in the Maurepas Swamp area. I-10, Hwy 61, other roads, and spoil-banks from man-made canals out into the swamp have caused retention of water that has both stressed the forest and exacerbated persistence of invasive aquatics. So you have the need to restore freshwater flow AND drainage in the same, highly-populated and traveled system. Even if you know what to do where and good confidence of success, the hydrologic (where is the drained water going to go?), permitting and mitigation requirements of the Corps of Engineers really make it difficult to go forward.

We (Sec. Melancon, legal counsel, and I) met with Senator Eddie Lambert yesterday to discuss strategies for improving the habitat in Maurepas Swamp starting with organized support for the old Hope Canal project, now called the Freshwater Reintroduction into Maurepas Swamp project, the 'gapping' project to move water north of the Amite River Diversion Canal into the swamp, and building new partnerships to focus on that particular area. I can't say any of use was confident, but Senator Lambert is promising persistent effort.
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At one time there was going to be a canal dug from the river to the lake at the B. C. Spillway. There was to be no control structures and the river water would flow 24/7/365. To avoid the locks it would start in Montz then through the levee to the lake.
I surely wouldn't mind Lake Pontchartrain being a bass lake. The southwestern end of Lake P is pretty stagnant. The trout fishermen and crabbers put up a big whine and ended that. No one can agree what is best for everyone but definitely what is best for themselves.
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...don't know it well but made many rabbit hunts under the power lines near the scales...the man who took us had a bar & resturante on the old hiway...(can't remember his name)... it was back in the late 70's and we loaded up w/bunnies...it was beautiful back then...anyone remembers the Crazy Man of Manchac he would keep'ya on 'ya toes !!! cheers
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A. Rabbit. Only place I remember on old 51 back then close to the power lines was the Halfway House owned by Bully Madere. Good man long since gone. The old place before I-10 come through wasn't a restaurant but Mr. Bully would cook whatever I brought in. That man sure could cook.
That swamp could use a lot of revitalization. Lake floods it now with just an east wind. That rock levee along Labranch marsh is causing that. Another Corps screw up.
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VF...you right about 'Bully' and Half Way House my only connection was thru Bert the plumber out of Metarie (he was well known in Ham radio)... you jarred my memory 'ya old coot... 'ya must be some old ???...cheers
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Bully made the best pickled eggs!
Used to swim in the lake at the end of Frenier Rd. (Swamp Tour road) and watched about a 1/2 mile or so erode. Maybe more. There is a gas wellhead in the lake at the end of the road that used to be back in the woods about a 1/4 mile from the shoreline. Sad to watch that swamp die. The more the Corps does the worse the situation becomes. If you want to leave an inheritance for future generations of your bloodline, best go north then. I figure in the next 100 years, where I live at will be lost to government stupidity and inaction. The new Gulf Coast will probably be around Baton Rouge.
I have a piclked egg recipe that is close to Bully's. It'll never taste the same as when Mr. Bully would get one out of that big glass jar and hand it to you on one of those brown paper towels.
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VF...try the Pickled Quail Eggs @ Spillway Bar if they stillt there...'ya end-up w/ some 'High Octane Aviation' gas the next day...our spillway rabbit hunts somehow always ended up w/ 'BQ8' (Bud ,Quail and 8-Ball in side pocket)...AR...cheeersss
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   noose374
Back on topic...
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   mojjo21
Me and the old man went riding down Dutch bayou yesterday. This recent rain flushed out the swamp a little bit in that area. The water was pretty high but we were still able to ride around without breaking a sweat working the go devil. He showed me a lot of his old duck holes and blinds. Seen 5 wood ducks all on the bayou, and 1 grey and 3 scaup in the grass between blind and Dutch. Seen about 20 deer (hopefully no outlaws reading this), as well as about 500 gators. It made us have hope again because we seen more wildlife yesterday than we had seen all year in the maurepas swamp/manchac area. It's not like migratory birds don't fly past it. They fly past it on the Mississippi headed straight to Venice (I hunted Venice quite a few times this season). We just need to make maurepas swamp a suitable habitat again.

It's still full of floaton and salvania, but not as bad as last spring. Seen a few new baby cypress trees growing. I would love to get involved if anyone could help me out or we can all join up for the same cause. I should have taken pictures yesterday.
Anybody else have any updates on restoring maurepas swamp?
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