What Louisiana waters are public?

State Lands Office map shows public and private waters

Most anglers will be stunned when they learn how little of Louisiana’s waters — especially in the swamps and marshes of the coast — are claimed by their state.

All you have to do is log onto the State Lands Office website to access a map database that shows what waters are clearly state owned, and what waters private landowners are legally allowed to control.

Everything not marked as property of the state on the map is subject to landowers’ whim.

Take the Lake Verret area, for example. The lake and its connecting bayous are state waters and cannot be blocked off.

However, every canal connected to the lake — including hallowed fishing waters like Curtis Breaux Canal, Crackerhead and the Michel Canal — are private.

And Curtis Breaux already has been gated by Swamp People star Troy Landry.

Every canal along Bayous Sherman and Cheramie to the east of Grassy Lake also are considered private by the state.

Move west into the famed Atchafalaya Basin fishery, and the situation is identical: Natural bayous and lakes are state owned, while every canal is privately owned.

That means the Checkerboard north of Flat Lake could conceivably be closed to public access.

In Bayou Black, pretty much everything but the Intracoastal, Lake Hackberry, most of Bayous Copasaw Penchant are private. Including the access canals to Bob’s Bayou Black Marina.

Head to the coastal waters of Lafourche Parish, and you’re likely to be trespassing if you fish the waters between Barataria Bay and Bayou Lafourche.

Even much of the marsh — like those favored redfish ponds — are often deemed privately owned by the great State of Louisiana.

Click here to see detailed maps of your favorite fishing area.

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.

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