Hazards of Rockefeller

In spite of an almost unworldly number of alligators on the refuge, some of them large, they are seldom, if ever, more than a nuisance. Small alligators can be pesky because of their habit of trailing and attacking popping corks. Little can be done but cast away from them or move, as harassing wildlife is prohibited.

A lot bigger pest is the infernal numbers of gnats. Although the day was breezy when we went and we saw nary a gnat, anglers should always carry their favorite repellent for a trip to the refuge. Waldmann’s favorite is Swamp Juice towel wipes, which he calls “the best thing since sliced bread.”

Navigation can be an overlooked hazard. Most anglers are used to operating boats in South Louisiana’s canal systems, with their many intersections, but running a boat in the refuge’s northern boundary canal can be tricky. It has numerous fairly long, perfectly straight sections followed by sharp 90 degree turns that seem to just pop up.

Putting a boat in the bushes is one thing, but a collision with another invisible-till-the-last-minute boat negotiating the turn from the opposite direction is another.

About Jerald Horst 959 Articles
Jerald Horst is a retired Louisiana State University professor of fisheries. He is an active writer, book author and outdoorsman.