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False River nearing more improvements to enhance wildlife

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NEW ROADS - The next step toward improving wildlife on False River is in the works as engineers look into how to bring trophy fishing back.

Phase two of the False River restoration project is expected to begin after the summer and will focus on limiting siltation from the M1 canal. Work will also begin to dredge silt out of the north flat. Over the years, the M1 canal has dumped silt into False River covering and killing vegetation.

Rep. Major Thibaut, D-New Roads, says False River is the economic engine for Pointe Coupee Parish.

"They're looking at series of weirs, what they call baffles, as well as vegetative plantings in places that have eroded in the past to sure up the banks in those spots so that you can reduce erosion in years to come," he said.

Last year, phase one of the project finished after contractors successfully dredged False River and pumped silt to build a 16.5 acre island on the south flat. Fishermen like Shawn Ostoj say the fish are starting to bite more often and put up more of a fight.

"To me they're feistier. They're a better fighter than they were before," said Ostoj. "They get out there and when they get that hook they get mad, and they play with me a bit."

Work for phase two will cost around $2.2 million. Thibaut says the money is well worth saving a body of water that was once considered the top trophy fishing lake in Louisiana. Parish leaders also plan to meet with residents to discuss what they can do to improve False River.


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