Dear Capt. Paul:

I am from the New Orleans area and am looking to go to the sulfur mines. Been there before but do not remember how to get there. Can you give me some directions and maybe the address? Thank you so much for helping. I am looking forward to catching some specks and reds. I have not been fishing in years and wanted to try to get back in it.

Jason C

Capt. Paul's response:

The southern coastline of Louisiana has numerous sites referred to as "the sulphur mine." They are like corner grocery stores were on every other corner in the New Orleans area in the '40s and '50s. Not knowing which "mine" you were interested in, I have included information for four of the most common areas referred to as "sulphur mines" in the area around the New Orleans area. I say four, because there are more sulphur mines in the southwest part of the state.

There were recent postings about nearly all of these locations in the fishing forum. Each one can be very good fishing at certain times of the year.

Starting with the nearby offshore location, you will find a sulphur mine or rather an old sulphur mine just south of Grand Isle.


Grand Isle offshore sulphur mine

The old Freeport McMoRan Corp. main sulphur rig, which was located off the coast of Grand Isle, is now the center of one of the Louisiana offshore artificial reefs. The site is about 3.9 miles from the aid-to-navigation (ATON) light green No. 1 at the beginning of the entrance to the Barataria Pass channel, just south of Grand Isle and about 22 miles at a bearing of 67° (mag) from red No. 2 buoy at the end of the Belle Pass (Pass Fourchon) in the Gulf of Mexico. Use caution in navigating this course as a direct line, as it passes near and in three cases directly though some of the many oil/gas platforms in the area.

The rig site is now an underwater reef. The Freeport-McMoRan Corp. donated the sulphur rig to Louisiana for use as an artificial fishing reef. It was partly disassembled, and is now completely submerged below the water. The entire superstructure of the site is about 30 feet below the surface.

The reef is now marked with five buoys. "Fish FLRA-27-B Haven," I believe is located at or about 29º11.623' north latitude and 89º 53.670' west longitude. It is the northwestern of the five.

Another buoy, FLRA-27-"A" is at or about 29º11.597' north latitude and 89º 52.990' west longitude. It is about 3.8 miles south of Barataria channel marker, NUN red "2".

These are the northernmost of the five buoys. The center buoy of the three southernmost buoys is, I believe, at or about 29º 10.948' north latitude and 89º 53.335' west longitude.

There also are several oil–gas well in the immediate area.

The Fish Haven is shown on the current copy of NOAA chart No. 11358, and at certain times of the year is a very productive location.


Larose-Galliano sulphur mine

The sulphur mine in the Lafourche Parish area is west of Galliano in the middle of the Pointe-aux-Chenes, Golden Meadow, and Larose area. It is just northeast of Lake Bully Camp in the Pointe-aux-Chenes WMA, and is north of the Leeville area. It would require you to navigate first westward to Little Lake, and then northward on Grand Bayou Blue past Catfish Lake to Bayou Bouillon to the mine.

My plots for the positions for this sulphur mine show the south side of the sulphur mine lake is located in the Pointe-aux-Chenes WMA at a point where Bayou Bouillon, now a canal, enters the lake at or about 29º 27.465' N./90º 22.652' W.

There is another canal that leads from the sulphur lake on the west side to Grand Bayou. Grand Bayou then leads southerly to Cut Off Bayou, which intersects Bayou Point-aux-Chenes near the southern end of Louisiana Highway 655. It is near the LDWF headquarters. The sulphur lake at the first-mentioned canal is at or about 29º 27.751' N./ 90º 23.404' W.

The rough center of the sulphur lake is at or about 29º 27.765' N./90º 22.936' W. I do not believe the center is the deepest part of the lake. However, I have several fishing locations in the Catfish Lake (sulphur mine) area, two of which are old gas/oil wellheads. These old wellheads are or were located at or about 29° 23.018'N./90° 18.664' W. and 29° 22.651' N./90° 18.338' W.

I also suggest that you try the many breaks in the shoreline along the twin pipelines at the south of the lake.

The map that I have shows several pilings and some small production platforms though out the area.


Lake Pelto sulphur mine

The Lake Pelto sulphur mine is located in the eastern side of Lake Pelto north of Trinity Island and East Island (part of the Isles Denieres chain of islands) and south of Bay St. Elaine. It is east of Bodwin Cutoff, and west of Point Mast and Terrebonne Bay. It is west of Leeville, Timbalier and Terrebonne bays.

The northern part of the large V-shaped island is at or about 29°06.156' N./90°40.555' W. The southern part of the V is at or about 29°05.914' N./90°40.539' W. Use caution, as there are numerous small wellhead platforms through out the area. The water depth varies from 3 to 9 feet around the site.


The old Freeport sulphur mine south of Port Sulphur

The remnants of the old Port Sulphur mine is located south of Port Sulphur, and is between Billet Bay on the east and Lake Grand Caille on the west. It is basically at the south end of the Freeport Sulphur Canal just north of Bay Long.

The mine once had an impoundment levee in the shape of a large oval that separated the fresh water pumped from the Mississippi River from the surrounding salt water. The fresh water was superheated and pumped underground to "melt" the sulphur. The liquid sulphur was then pumped to the surface and recovered.

The entire levee and most all of the structures inside the levee have long since been removed. In doing so, a channel was cut in the northern part of the levee that crossed the interior of the oval and breached the levee on the southern side of the mine area.

The northern part of the channel is now marked only by two pilings on the north side, one of which is located at 29° 22.070' N./89°47.608' W. It was just south west of a production platform located at 29°22.170' N./89°47.454' W. The southern part of the levee, about one mile to the south, has a single piling where the canal once met the levee. This part of the channel is located at or about 29°21.250' N./89°47.716' W. A small part of the old impoundment levee was still visible 200 yards east of the piling. It was located at or about 29°21.149' N./ 89°47.560' W.

The oval mine was located between these north and south channel pilings. This channel is generally deeper than the surrounding water and offers some deep-hole-type of fishing. I recall one day landing 18-inch white trout after 18-inch white trout for as long as you wanted to fish at the north channel piling.

There is an area just southeast of the end of the Port Sulphur canal that has tons of debris. The area is near a production platform located at or about 28°21.812' N./89° 46.192' W. I suggest that you not fish this area until you become familiar with exactly where the debris field is located; it could be a motor wrecker.

This "mine" is located across Barataria Bay east from Leeville.


Good luck fishing these locations!

Unless otherwise specified, all positions are stated as H,DDD,MM.mmm and were determined using WGS 84 DATUM. All headings/bearings/courses are stated in Magnetic Degrees.

Capt. Paul