The East Calcasieu artificial reef in Calcasieu Lake has been completed. The reef site, also known as “Big Jack’s Reef”, is an existing inshore artificial reef that had material added to it, therefore increasing hard-bottom habitat at the site.
Calcasieu Lake’s water-bottom consists mostly of soft mud or clay. The crushed concrete and limestone deployed will create habitat for small fishes which draws larger predatory species. All inshore artificial reef sites are protected from oyster harvest, meaning all oysters growing within the reef permit area can serve as a broodstock and continue to assist the oyster population in Calcasieu Lake for years to come.
The East Calcasieu artificial reef site was originally created in June of 2017. LDWF, in partnership with the Coastal Conservation Association, deployed 1500 tons of crushed concrete and concrete pilings in the reef site. Oyster settlement has been observed since this original deployment, and anglers have reported successful trips to the reef. Last week LDWF, again in partnership with CCA, deployed an additional 6,000 tons of crushed concrete and limestone to the 87-acre site. Construction began Tuesday, May 7 and was completed by Sunday, May 12.
The East Calcasieu Artificial Reef site enhancement is the first of eleven reef site projects planned across the coast of Louisiana this year. Funding for the reef enhancements came from the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill settlement which allocated funds to restore for recreational losses that occurred in Louisiana following the DWH oil spill.
The East Calcasieu reef can be found at coordinates 29.8852, -93.2793. The nearest launch locations are Hebert’s Landing (5 nautical miles) and the Dugas Landing (9 nautical miles). For more information, including additional reef locations and maps, please visit the Louisiana Artificial Reef Program site at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/artificial-reef-program.