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False River drawdown exposes banks, trash

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NEW ROADS - Some Pointe Coupee residents are taking advantage of the exposed shorelines during the False River drawdown.

The drawdown of False River from 16 to 13.5 feet above sea level began on Sept. 2. It's part of a plan to improve water quality in the popular oxbow lake. With the water receding from its usual shoreline, many examples of pollution have come to light.

Pointe Coupee leaders encourage residents to take action to address the issue. Police Juror Kyle Olinde has seen the trash first hand.

"It's a lot easier to work and clean out debris, garbage, trash, litter. They can work on their piers and sea walls," he said. "It's a lot easier to work when you can stand on hard ground versus fighting a boat in the water."

Right now the water level is just over 14 feet above sea level. Plans call for the lake to drawdown 1.5 inch each day until the target of 13.5 feet above sea level is reached.

The continued drawdown of False River should expose around 80 acres of the natural bank, according to Olinde. When the exposed banks solidify, Olinde is hopeful that grass will grow to support fish.

"They have no place to hide right now. The grass actually acts as a natural filter for the siltation, and it also protects the bank line. We do not want grass to take over the whole lake like it did at one time, but we do need some grass in some spots," he said. "Hopefully the fishing will get a lot better and the river will be a little cleaner. It's a win-win situation."

Contractors will begin building a ring levee in October. In November, dredging will start to form an island inside the ring levee on the south flat of False River.



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