Posted: Sep 13, 2013 5:51 PM by Michael Shingleton
Updated: Sep 13, 2013 6:52 PM
NEW ROADS - After six hours of fishing on the False River, Mike Kilcrease came back empty-handed.
Skill had nothing to do with it, though: it's the lack of fish in the river.
For 30 years fishermen have watched their catch crumble, and now yearn for the days where it was constant.
"It was nothing to catch 20 or 30 bass. That was easy. It was literally that easy," Jimmy Bello said. "It's much more complicated to come out here and catch a few of them compared to when it used to be more plentiful."
Bello's interest in the lake, as False River is called in New Roads, is more than just catching fish. He's the Pointe Coupee Parish Administrator and on a team determined to improve the quality of the water.
On Tuesday, the police jury approved $1.5 million in state funding that will be used to fight the amount of silt in the lake. Years ago landowners dug channels toward the river to drain flooded property. That eventually led to silt and sediment runoff into the lake.
"False River is a gorgeous lake, but all this silt is coming into it. It's been reduced, but it's what has brought us to where we are today," Bello explained.
One option to fight the silt is to dredge it out and spit it into deeper parts of the lake. Another is to build island or terrace areas that are already shallow because of sedimentation.
Nearly five months ago, Wildlife and Fisheries Agents released 26 thousand small bass into the lake to increase the population.
If all goes to plan, Bello thinks, repopulation efforts won't be needed in the future.