Opening of Bonnet Carre Spillway not demise of Lake Pontchartrain trout, guide says

Capt. Eric Dumas says north shore, Lake Borgne of lake full of specks

Big trout were being caught on the Lake Pontchartrain bridges when the Bonnet Carre Spillway was opened May 9, and many feared the infusion of millions of gallons of Mississippi River water into the lake would end the annual big-fish bonanza.

There was even talk of fish kills.

But Capt. Eric Dumas told that there are still plenty of trout in the lake, offering anglers ample opportunities to fill their boxes.

“The whole north shore has clean water,” Dumas said. “What happened is that the dirty river water is hugging the south shore.

“From the draw bridge of the train trestle south is filthy.”

The veteran Pontchartrain guide also said he’s seen no signs of the feared fish kills.

But the new conditions have made fishing the clean water a crowded prospect.

“There are a lot of boats along the north shore (of the lake),” Dumas said.

And that’s prompted him to move farther out, where there is plenty of clean water and less competition.

“I’m fishing (Lake) Borgne,” Dumas said. “It’s a lot easier than fighting the people.”

He said there also is plenty of beautiful water in the Bayou Bienvenue marshes.

“It’s clean and full of redfish,” he said. “When I say clean, it’s gin clear; I’m watching redfish swim by.”

Dumas said he believes it will be at least until the fall before things in Lake Pontchartrain return to normal.

“That water will filter out pretty quick, but the only thing that’s going to hold it up is the fact that (the gates at) Seabrook (are) closed,” he said. “If Seabrook was open, it would filter out a lot quicker.”

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About Andy Crawford 863 Articles
Andy Crawford has spent nearly his entire career writing about and photographing Louisiana’s hunting and fishing community. While he has written for national publications, even spending four years as a senior writer for B.A.S.S., Crawford never strayed far from the pages of Louisiana Sportsman. Learn more about his work at www.AndyCrawford.Photography.