Dozens of Louisiana fishermen are filling their truck beds with fish in this New Orleans suburb.
Louisiana fishermen are descending to the Bonnet Carré Spillway to fill their truck beds with shad.
The Bonnet Carré Spillway is a flood control operation located in St. Charles Parish, Louisiana, which sits 12 miles west of New Orleans. It allows flooding from the Mississippi River to flow into Lake Pontchartrain that ultimately end up in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Army Corp of Engineers opened the spillway for the 11th time in history on January 10th, 2016, to help mitigate flooding following massive rainfall that hit Illinois and Missouri after Christmas. Excessive rainfall in those regions, in turn, caused the Mississippi River to swell to above-average heights. Additionally, opening the spillway allows the Army Corp of Engineers to monitor the effects of nutrient-rich Mississippi River water that will flow into the lake.
Below is a video from the local Fox affiliate:
"I've been every time the spillway opens. The water comes through the fish run, we out here dipping," said fisherman Danny Bourgeois to Fox 8.
Not only do fishermen take advantage of shad to collect as bait for crabbing, scientists use this opportunity to track and monitor rare fish species such as the pallid sturgoen.
"If you use DC, you can pulse that direct current," said Jack Killgore, with the Army Corps of Engineers research lab, to Fox 8. "What they will do is drop the booms in the water, and start shocking," said Killgore.
Isn't this a crazy story? It's amazing that this flood control operation diverts waters, but also provides anglers an opportunity to catch fish and scientists to study rare species.