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Practically Normal on Bayou Fountain

2016-10-02

Tree Frog

With Bayou Fountain finally low enough to paddle under Rackley Bridge, we headed out to take care of the rest of what the flood left for us.  Then on Sunday, some volunteers from LSU came out to see the bayou and do some cleanup.

Water under the bridge.

Now that there’s a bank again, launching was a bit more fun than it has been of late.  Frankly, we don’t mind a bit less water around (and real BREC paddle launches on Bayou Fountain and Ward Creek are getting closer — the designs look really nice).  We still had to duck going under the bridge, but we got to go under the bridge.  Woo-hoo!

Before the last run down the bayou, we didn’t know what to expect.  This time around, we knew pretty much just what we were in for, as most of it was leftover work we couldn’t reach due to high water.  After dispatching what looked more like a bayou full of branches than a tree, we headed on downstream.

High water mark.

The water was below the banks on the first section, but when the banks drop down after the halfway point, they were still underwater.  In some areas, you could quite easily see a distinct high water mark on the trees.  In another week or few, you’d have to climb a tree to point to it, but for now, standing in a canoe was just enough.

After wrapping up one more fallen tree, we turned around at Bayou Manchac and proceeded back to the park.  It was another long day, but the paddle trail down Bayou Fountain should now be back in shape.  (There’s always a chance something will catch as the water recedes and everything settles, but at this point, we don’t expect anything more than the usual maintenance.)

Cleanup on aisle one

With all the water, a good bit of litter has been flushed through and into our rivers and bayous, and on Sunday, were were happy to host volunteers from LSU on Bayou Fountain for a bit of cleanup.  All told, twenty-three people were out on the bayou picking up litter and experiencing just a bit of the paddling available on our flagship paddle trail (plus a short hike on BREC’s nature trail in the conservation area of Highland Road Park).

Volunteers on the bayou

Together, we picked up a literal boatload of litter.  (“If only we had a wheelbarrow!”)  It was a nice way to cap off a weekend on the water.  We’ll certainly be having another organized all-hands cleanup in the spring (after we’ve all finished rebuilding), but seeing how much of an impact even a limited group can do on a stretch of bayou was inspiring.

A boatload of litter

Next weekend is “Kayak In Colors” (formerly “Paddling In Pink”) at University Lake with BREC Outdoor Adventure and many others.  PaddleBR will be there assisting, and we’d love to see a great turnout to their benefit event.

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