False River rehab set to begin
NEW ROADS - The drawdown of False River from 16 feet above sea level to 13.5 feet above sea level will begin Tuesday.
The Pointe Coupee police jury will oversee the drawdown of the river which will take place over a three week period with the water level being reduced by 1.5 inches per day until the target level is reached. According to engineering plans, False River will remain at this low level through March 2015.
Once drawdown is complete, RLB Contracting, Inc. of Port Lavaca, Texas will perform hydraulic dredging and construction of a containment dike in the South Flats of the oxbow lake.
The first phase of the project to improve water quality in False River will cost the state an estimated $2.7 million. Police juror, Melanie Bueche, says the plans are geared toward improving the quality of fish in False River.
"They are concerned with the water quality of the river, and also so many of them love to fish," she said. "Of course they would love to be able to catch the trophy fish that we used to catch here years ago."
Owners of property and boats on False River are being cautioned by officials to protect their properties during the drawdown period. Boaters are advised to avoid shallow areas and use caution while traveling in the lake due to low water levels. Officials warned boat owners that access to boats stored on certain parts of the lake may be limited until the normal water level is restored.
"The fact that people know the plan has been in effect, that we are moving forward to the drawdown, has brought an unbelievable amount of people back to False River," said Bueche. "They are in their rafts, boats, skis and jet skis, and it's just wonderful to see the people back here on False River."
Instead of caution, homeowners and camp residents are encouraged to use the low water levels to their advantage by taking the opportunity to clean the shoreline and do pier maintenance on their properties.
After the work is completed in March of next year, False River's return to its normal depth will depend upon rainfall totals.