Where are Pontchartrain’s tarpon holes?

Dear Capt. Paul:

Do you have the location of the tarpon hole in Lake Pontchartrain known as Three Trees?
Capt. Paul’s response:

The Tarpon Hole, a.k.a. Clover Leaf, Three Trees, was located in Lake Pontchartrain near South Point. With the help of “Tarpon Tom,” one of our readers, I found a location where the holes are or, rather, were.

The latest NOAA chart No. 11369 — Lake Pontchartrain and Maurepas indicates that the water depth in the area was reported in 1979 to be about 25 feet with some holes 40 to 80 feet deep.

I researched the dredging that was done in Lake Pontchartrain over the years, and I found a location that was used to build the levee and fill the Little Woods Canal along the south shore of Lake Pontchartrain from South Point/Point aux Herbes to Little Woods. This dredging resulted in one of the four dredge holes located near the south shore of Lake Pontchartrain.

The University of New Orleans Coastal Research Laboratory (UNOCRL) and the USGS formed a joint partnership in 1998 to collect hydrographic data along the south shore of Lake Pontchartrain to document bathymetric changes since the early 1900s. The data they collected was processed and computer generated to create a bathymetric map of Lake Pontchartrain.

That data according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and UNO in their joint survey, which was conducted in 2002, indicated that the bathymetric data (water depth measurement) of the South Point hole is approximately 55.8 feet deep.

“The hole,” according to USGS, “was created when sand was pumped from the lake bottom to fill the Little Woods Canal, which ran parallel to the shoreline. Information from Orleans Levee District suggests the sand was used to fill the canal prior to building the hurricane-protection levee.

“Records also show that clay from a borrow area near Howze Beach on the north shore was transported to the same site to cap the sand layer. This work took place in the 1970s.

“Since their excavations, these underwater holes or pits have essentially become giant sediment traps, slowly accumulating sediment from the surrounding lake bottom.”

Only heaven can determine what happened to the bottom areas as a result of Katrina.

These dredge holes may not now be as pronounced or even noticeable with normal consumer depth-finding equipment, but I have located an approximate position for the hole(s).

I suggest you use these positions as a starting point and, while using your depth finder, search the area between the three listed positions. If they have not been entirely filled in by sediment, you should notice a difference in the lake bottom around the area. Again, look for a different type of bottom characteristics reading from your depth finder and, of course, a deep depth reading.

The large dredge hole that resembles a three-leaf clover was located about 1.5 miles from South Point at a bearing of 241 degrees and about .75 miles from the shoreline at the railroad tracks.

These dredge holes are west-southwest of South Point/Point aux Herbes.

The northern-most part of the hole is/was located at or about N30 08.522 x W89 54.306.

The hole extends from this point toward the southwest for about .6 of a mile and to the southeast for about .5 of a mile.

The southeastern-most part of the dredge hole is/was located at or about N30 08.136 x W89 54.035. It is about .5 miles from the northern-most location of the hole.

The southwestern-most part of the hole is/was located at or about N30 08040 x W89 54.429. It is about .6 miles from the northern point and .4 of a mile from the southeastern point. This part of the cloverleaf pattern is shown to be the deepest part of the three-part hole.

My thanks again to “Tarpon Tom” for bringing the location to the attention of our readers.

Unless otherwise specified, all positions are stated as H,DDD,MM.mmm and were determined using WGS 84 datum; all headings, bearings and courses are in magnetic degrees and statute miles.

Dear Capt. Paul:

I have a Lowrance 26C HD with built-in cartography and the Navionics Gold Card for the entire Gulf Coast. Therefore, I have no need for the Maptech software, but I would like to be able to download your Fishing Edge files. What are my options?Thanks,

Capt. Paul’s response:

Don’t confuse the Maptech product line with the Lowrance MapCreate software.

The Lowrance MapCreate software is designed to work as an internal map in your GPS unit.

The Maptech mapping software is actually raster and vector scanned charts, topo maps, contour charts and aerial photos.

In other words it is like looking at an official chart or topo map with the added feature of having aerial photos and contour charts available for your use. This software is not designed to be loaded into your Lowrance unit but can be linked to it when loaded into a desktop or laptop computer.

In order to use the Capt. Paul’s Edge program, you would need a way to connect a Secure digital (SD) or MMC memory card to your computer, and a way to copy the file on your SD card. Once there, you can access the card through the GPS unit and save the waypoints in the waypoint memory bank of the unit. A Lowrance LEI or any other card reader/writer should be able to do the job for you.

The Capt. Paul Fishing Edge files are in a Lowrance format (.usr) that can be assimilated by your LMS 26C. You would copy the Edge file to your MMC or SD card, and place it in the memory card drawer of the unit, then access the data via the menu button on the GPS unit.

By the way, doing the procedure in reverse is also a way to back up the waypoint, routes and track data from your GPS unit.

About Captain Paul Titus 192 Articles
Capt. Paul Titus has been responding to G.P.S questions on LouisianaSportsman.com 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.