Volunteers this weekend worked on site improvements for a kayak launch located on the bay side of Grand Isle near the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Marine Fisheries Laboratory.
Tim Osborn, who works as a regional manager in Lafayette for NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey, helped out on the project Saturday because of his work involvement with the Grand Isle Port Commission. The launch site is located on property owned by the Port of Grand Isle, he said.
“This was a relatively unimproved site where you could basically make it down to the shore, but the shore area had a lot of brush, bushes and weeds,” Osborn said. “So what we did over the weekend was clear out the area to improve the access so people will be able to park their vehicles, take their boats off of their trucks and put them in the water.”
To get to the launch, Osborn said kayakers can turn left off of Hwy. 1 onto Ludwig Lane and then turn left again just before the lab.
Efforts now will focus on possibly putting limestone down on the dirt road, getting signage for the area, expanding available parking and adding sand to the shore area for easier launching, he said.
“The kayak potential is just wonderful,” Osborn said. “You can paddle along the break waters, make it to artificial oyster reef structures, or paddle across Bayou Rigaud along the Fifi Island area and still be in relatively quiet water in a sheltered area.
“Any other place on the island where you can put in, you’ve got to do a whole lot of paddling to get to the same spot.”
Osborn is contacting both the Lafayette and Lake Pontchartrain kayak clubs to get input on the site and also gauge their level of interest in assisting with the launch project.
“This is another example of recreational fishermen coming together with these clubs saying, ‘Hey, how can we help?’” he said. “Let’s look at the various things we can do to improve this site and make it a better location for everyone.”