Please Sign In

New To Sportsman Network?

Safe Route from Empire Marina to Empire Jetties

Can anyone give me an idea of the safest way to get to the Empire Jetties from the Empire marina boat launch? I've never been down that area before and from looking at my Navionics app, it looks TIGHT to say the least. My boat drafts about 18' + motor foot. Is there a way that everyone goes? I've run the spoil canal out of Hopedale a number of times and had no problem there. But I'm 100% unfamiliar with this area and would love any advice you guys can give.
Seriously... nobody has any tips?!? on Navionics there appears to be a run almost Due south following those pink markers... (look at attached pic) but it says the depth is 0-1 ft..... Is that a safe run or how do you guys go? FYI, I'm not going this weekend so don't think if you tell me I'm going to come down there and crowd you out. Wife is out of town and I got the 3 little ones by myself. I'm on diaper duty. But when I get off diaper duty in about 2 weeks.... I'm going fishing... and I want to do it safely.
   Dr. Spot
In the old days when the land was there, we would take Grand Bayou or the the jetties canal to get to the Gulf. Maybe you can upload an old map and use that for guidance.....and take it very, very slow as you mark the path.

I'm sure someone has waypoints, but comment activity on LASM is low, so you may not get the bread crumbs.

I think waypoints are for sale as well.
   JOHN C.
Maybe Captain Paul (GPS Garu) will come aboard and help you---John Castelluccio, Jr.
I would suggest getting a hold of Standard Maps out of Abita Springs. They might have an older map for that area. Even the newer maps shows Grand Bayou and the deeper water.
Grand Bayou no longer goes to the gulf. The best route is to head south via the Empire Waterway. It is well marked, just stay between the poles.
I ran from Delta Marina to Empire Jetties in late spring for the first time. There were some pretty good makers. Also, a lot of boat traffic so can likely follow someone. Some really large boats take the route so draft should not be a problem.
Thank you guys SO MUCH for the tips. I can't wait to get down there and try the run. Although... the boss just informed me that I won't be going anytime soon. Something about Birthday parties every Saturday until the second coming..... Can't wait for these munchkins to get a little older so we can have birthday parties on the boat!
Captain Paul’s response to ~ Cajuncraw ~

You are not the only one that has a problem running a route from the Empire, LA launches to the Empire Jetties. Experienced boaters are stunned by the loss of land in that area, turning the various bayous, canals, lagoons and bays into an open water lake. Those who do not visit the area recently may not recognize the way that was once a boater’s highway. It no way is even similar to how the area looked twenty years ago.

I believe that your chart plotter is sometimes showing where the channels and canals were once located, but remember that the Louisiana marsh is a living estuary. It is an ever changing area consisting of water marsh and islands surrounded by tidal ocean waters. Because of this, many boaters and marine captains do not like to give specific points which would make up a route as the route may change because of the water movement and obstructions that are in the area. I have actually observed a strong tide destroy the bank of a bayou near that area and on a later trip observed parts of a large oil barrel that was now nearly blocking the waterway.
In addition, not knowing the draft, beam, range and fuel capacity can make it very hard for one boat to navigate the route but another vessel can easily get through it without any difficulties.

My point being that you should run any route that you did not mark yourself with extreme caution. Navigate the legs at a reduced speed and full attention to the topography of the area.

I believe that most of the canals and bayous there are marked with poles, but they do not even come close as how an officially recognized commercial waterway would be marked. Keep that in mind when you are running an unfamiliar route or one that you haven’t navigated for a while.

Some suggestions are that you should get some of the older maps of the area as they will show the area as canals and bayous as where they were. For instance NOAA Marine Chart 11358, Barataria Bay and Approaches shows the canal by the jetties as having a 9 foot depth, continuing with a 5-1/2 foot depth to the Empire gate, as of 1997.
This passage is via the Empire Flood Control canal to Bayou Long to Bayou Fontanelle to the Jetty canal to the Gulf of Mexico. This route is generally a north/south water but one cannot simply run a 180° course as that would put over many of the small reefs, shoals and islands that now
through out the area.

In addition to the Standard Map that are aerial photo maps, check into the USGS Topographical maps of the area. These will give you an idea of how or where these bayous were located. Of course, following a larger boat out to or in from the jetties, when using the tracking feature of the will allow you to convert it to a route.

I have put together a route that you may want to view. My plots on the map were made before Hurricane Katrina, so there may be some areas that are now shallow or have obstructions. If you use the route, do so at an idle speed for the first run and keep a sharp eye out for obstructions.

The nineteen waypoints are shown on a rough map of the area along with a description of the position, distance to next, Formatted in DDD,MM.mmmm using WGS 84 Datum

Layer Information
Coordinate Format: Degrees/Minutes Datum: World Geodetic System 1984
Name: Empire to Jetty
Distance: 9 miles, 4300 feet
Number of Waypoint: 19

Name: Wpt1
Coordinates: 029° 23.0554' N, 089° 36.1248' W
Distance to next Waypoint: 721 feet
Bearing to next Waypoint: 221 degrees (magnetic)

Name: Wpt2
Coordinates: 029° 22.9664' N, 089° 36.2148' W
Distance to next Waypoint: 4356 feet
Bearing to next Waypoint: 167 degrees (magnetic)

Name: Wpt3
Coordinates: 029° 22.2681' N, 089° 36.0311' W
Distance to next Waypoint: 2641 feet
Bearing to next Waypoint: 170 degrees (magnetic)

Name: Wpt4
Coordinates: 029° 21.8400' N, 089° 35.9463' W
Distance to next Waypoint: 2019 feet
Bearing to next Waypoint: 164 degrees (magnetic)
Name: Wpt5
Coordinates: 029° 21.5200' N, 089° 35.8447' W
Distance to next Waypoint: 2241 feet
Bearing to next Waypoint: 159 degrees (magnetic)

Name: Wpt6
Coordinates: 029° 21.1746' N, 089° 35.6967' W
Distance to next Waypoint: 1886 feet
Bearing to next Waypoint: 171 degrees (magnetic)

Name: Wpt7
Coordinates: 029° 20.8682' N, 089° 35.6413' W
Distance to next Waypoint: 1680 feet
Bearing to next Waypoint: 174 degrees (magnetic)

Name: Wpt8
Coordinates: 029° 20.5932' N, 089° 35.6097' W
Distance to next Waypoint: 2094 feet
Bearing to next Waypoint: 181 degrees (magnetic)

Name: Wpt9
Coordinates: 029° 20.2489' N, 089° 35.6217' W
Distance to next Waypoint: 776 feet
Bearing to next Waypoint: 190 degrees (magnetic)

Name: Wpt10
Coordinates: 029° 20.1232' N, 089° 35.6473' W
Distance to next Waypoint: 964 feet
Bearing to next Waypoint: 209 degrees (magnetic)

Name: Wpt11
Coordinates: 029° 19.9851' N, 089° 35.7367' W
Distance to next Waypoint: 1123 feet
Bearing to next Waypoint: 238 degrees (magnetic)

Name: Wpt12
Coordinates: 029° 19.8877' N, 089° 35.9168' W
Distance to next Waypoint: 1076 feet
Bearing to next Waypoint: 219 degrees (magnetic)
Name: Wpt13
Coordinates: 029° 19.7501' N, 089° 36.0447' W
Distance to next Waypoint: 2072 feet
Bearing to next Waypoint: 213 degrees (magnetic)

Name: Wpt14
Coordinates: 029° 19.4663' N, 089° 36.2612' W
Distance to next Waypoint: 2287 feet
Bearing to next Waypoint: 181 degrees (magnetic)

Name: Wpt15
Coordinates: 029° 19.0901' N, 089° 36.2677' W
Distance to next Waypoint: 3107 feet
Bearing to next Waypoint: 169 degrees (magnetic)

Name: Wpt16
Coordinates: 029° 18.5873' N, 089° 36.1624' W
Distance to next Waypoint: 1309 feet
Bearing to next Waypoint: 154 degrees (magnetic)

Name: Wpt17
Coordinates: 029° 18.3936' N, 089° 36.0542' W
Distance to next Waypoint: 1366 feet
Bearing to next Waypoint: 137 degrees (magnetic)

Name: Wpt18
Coordinates: 029° 18.2283' N, 089° 35.8796' W
Distance to next Waypoint: 3 miles, 4254 feet
Bearing to next Waypoint: 189 degrees (magnetic)

Name: Wpt19
Coordinates: 029° 14.9698' N, 089° 36.5120' W

Unless otherwise specified, all positions are stated as Degrees, minutes and thousandths of minutes (DDD,MM.mmm) and were determined using WGS 84 Datum. All bearings and courses are stated in Magnetic degrees.

~ Captain Paul ~
Good info Captain Paul. You are right about how much things have changed down there. I almost wrecked my boat and did ding my prop big time last time I ran from the Delta Marina to the jetties. Use extreme caution especially before daylight. I also can't believe how much the area in front of Joshua's Marina in Buras has changed in the last 5-10 years!
Very well said Captain!