Crawfish splishin’ and splashin’ as spillway floods

Michelle Stuckey
April 01, 2011 at 9:13 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

With water levels in the Mississippi River rising every day, prime crawfishing time will be coming soon to the Bonnet Carre Spillway.

Water has started moving through about half of the openings in the spillway, which Chris Brantley, project manager at the spillway, says will make for great crawfishing.

“The crawfish will certainly like it. They like to have those flooded areas…they start to feed on the vegetation,” Brantley said. “The flooding will certainly increase the number of crawfish and that will bring a lot of people to fish.”

Once the water level reaches 14 feet, water should be coming through all of the bays of the spillway allowing for crawfish to really flourish.

Right now, Mike Stack, chief of emergency operations at the Army Corps of Engineers New Orleans District, said that the river is at about 13 feet in the New Orleans area and that the National Weather Service has forecasted that the river will crest at 14.5 feet on April 4.

The Corps of Engineers has already begun the first phase of its flood fight program across southern Louisiana. The corps acts on the program in two phases: one phase is enacted when the river reaches 11 feet and the second phase begins when the water level reaches 15 feet.

In the first phase, which is currently in progress, the corps and levee district officials begin biweekly levee inspections. In phase two, the inspections become daily.
Patrols look for erosion and water leaking underneath the levees into protected areas.

The river level would have to be at about 17 feet in order for the corps to consider opening the spillway.

“Based on predictions we have… right now we don’t see any reason why we would have to open (the spillway),” Stack said.




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