Waterfowl season reopens this weekend (Dec. 18), and the recent wave of cold fronts along with great first-split duck numbers points to great potential. The only problem might be access if low-water conditions persist as the winds switch back and forth.

"The water is about as low as it gets out here," Papa Joe Bush said, commenting on the extremely low water conditions in the Lafitte area. "Put it this way, the water is so low there's nothing but mud in my boat slip.

"I couldn't launch my boat right now if I wanted to."

Bush says the problem with low water in the marsh is that the ducks tend to leave with the water. But when the water goes back up a bit, the ducks return.

The entire coastal region has been affected by extremely low water conditions caused by a week's worth of strong, brutally cold air blowing down out of Canada – pushing the water out of the marshes.

How will it affect the duck hunters heading out Saturday morning for the opening of the second split?

"There's going to be plenty enough water to launch your boat and get out in the ponds," said Capt. Jack Payne over at Sweetwater Marina (504.342.2368) in Delacroix Island. "The water is already coming up, and the winds are switching to the southeast and then south or southwest by Thursday, and anytime we get winds from the east or south it'll push water right back into the marsh.

"So I don't forsee any problem with low water for the duck hunters on Saturday."

Meteorologist Bob Breck over at Fox 8 News in New Orleans agreed, to a point.

"The wind will blow out of the southeast Wednesday and that'll push water into the marsh, and then Thursday it'll blow from the southwest pretty strong, 12 to 22 mph," Breck said.

The problem comes as the weekend begins.

"Friday a front will move in and it'll be breezy, but early Saturday morning a real cold front will blow through, possibly bringing a good bit of rain through with it, and the temperatures will drop again and the water levels will plunge again," Breck predicted. "I think the duck hunters can expect it to be cold and rainy Saturday morning early, and the temperatures will fall all day long.

"The rain should end by noon Saturday, but it'll be cold and the water will probably be low for Sunday."

Breck says this yo-yo pattern has established itself early this year, and we can expect it to stay with us for awhile.