Construction of a new Lake Pontchartrain artificial reef built from debris from the old Interstate 10 Twin Span bridges that were damaged during Hurricane Katrina was begun last week (Dec. 21), with the pile of concrete being named after a well-known lake guide and his wife.

The four-acre reef, named the "Dudley and Kim Vandenborre Reef," was spearheaded by the the Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana with the cooperation of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, the state Department of Transportation and the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

It is located between the I-10 and Louisiana Highway 11 bridges, and is designed to create additional habitat for speckled trout, redfish, drum and flounder.

"We expect this reef will begin supporting marine life shortly after its deployment," CCA Louisiana Habitat Chairman John Walther said. "Other CCA reefs across the coast have produced catches in a matter of months. It's probable that Lake Pontchartrain anglers will begin catching big trout and redfish from this reef this spring."

The project is a first of its kind, LDWF's Randy Pausina said.

"Being able to repurpose the material from the deconstructed Twin Spans to make this artificial reef is a win for recreational fishermen and Louisiana citizens alike," Pausina said. "Without our state partners, especially CCA Louisiana, this project would not have been possible. Louisiana truly is the Sportsman's Paradise and we have created yet another opportunity to showcase our abundant natural resources."

Watch the attached video to learn more about how this project and its impact on future artificial reefs in the state.

"Dudley's Reef" is phase two of the three-phase CCA reef plan for Lake Pontchartrain. Phase one – the "South Shore Reef" – was completed earlier this year. Phase three will be a reef system built around the soon-to-be completed St. Tammany Fishing Pier. 

"The plan by CCA and the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to build recycled concrete reefs in Lake Pontchartrain is the first of its kind in Louisiana," said Gov. Bobby Jindal. "This is a win-win situation for the residents of Louisiana. We are creating an ideal marine habitat and we are also saving money by using material which would otherwise be discarded."

All of the Lake Pontchartrain projects are made possible through a partnership between Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana, LDWF's Artificial Reef Program, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development and The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration