The Bird Island that once was

Site is still worth locating

Dear Capt. Paul:

Do you have the coordinates for Bird Island in Barataria Bay near Grand Isle?


Capt. Paul’s response:

Bird Island is no longer classified as an island, and is now an underwater reef that at a very low tide may have some features showing above the water. This Bird Island (Reef) is in the southern part of Barataria Bay north of Grand Isle.

Some time ago there were some white PVC pipes marking the general area around the reef, but with the advent of GPS these markers were not replaced after recent storms.

In 1937, when it was an island, there was a USGS Benchmark Designates as BRD and coded “AT129” at 29 degrees, 19 minutes, 41.83011 seconds N/089 degrees, 57 minutes, 07.51254 seconds W. Note that this is listed in DDD,MM, SS.sssss.

The marker for the station was the center of the roof of a 14-by-14- foot building on Bird Island. This was the only building on Bird Island, and was about 33 feet above the high-water mark in Barataria Bay.

Many hurricanes since the placing of this benchmark have not only removed all buildings on the small island, but the island itself. Storm surges and erosion have taken its toll in actually removing the island.

Several Charts including NOAA Marine Chart 11358, Barataria Bay & Approaches and Chart 11365, Barataria and Bayou Lafourche Waterways indicate and list the reef. The center of this banana-shaped reef oriented in a north-northeast/south-southwest direction is indicated as Bird Reef at or about 29 degrees, 19.5717 minutes N/89 degrees, 57.2608 minutes W (DDD, MM.mmm).

The reef is located at about 3.75 miles at a bearing of 357 degrees magnetic from the center of Barataria Pass. Surrounding waters are between 6 and 8 feet.The charts show the reef as a shoal where the surrounding water intermittently covers the island reef. The water over the shoal may run from 1 1/2 to 4 feet. The reef is shown to be about half a mile in length in a 11-degree to 191

-degree position. I suggest that you use your depth finder, locate the north and south points above the above-mentioned position and fish these locations first.

Give it a try, and let me know how you make out.

Unless otherwise specified, all positions are stated as degrees, minutes and thousandths of minutes (DDD,MM.mmm), and were determined using WGS 84 Datum. All bearings and courses are stated in magnetic degrees.

Capt. Paul

About Captain Paul Titus 192 Articles
Capt. Paul Titus has been responding to G.P.S questions on since 2000. He has been fishing and hunting in Louisiana since 1957. Titus holds a USCG license and conducts instruction courses in the use of GPS for private individuals and government agencies.

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