Those visiting one of the most popular hunting areas in St. Charles Parish now have a little more elbow room, so to speak. The Salvador/Timken Wildlife Management Area in Luling now encompasses almost 1,800 more acres of wetlands, thanks to a recent deal struck between the conservation organization Ducks Unlimited and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
Ducks Unlimited purchased the extra land and added it to the WMA, bringing Salvador/Timken to a total of 36,000 acres. When combined with the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, the total area the public may hunt and fish covers more than 55,000 acres.
Todd Baker, Biologist Director of the LDWF, said that the additional land will particularly be a big boost for those hunting water fowl, in addition to yielding other benefits.
“Having this additional acreage is absolutely going to give additional room and opportunity for people who like to water fowl hunt in this new property and enhance their experience greatly,” Baker said. “It will certainly be less crowded than in the past. It gives them more room to spread out and hunt in some areas they haven’t have the opportunity to in the past. They can spread out and enjoy the outdoors.”
Baker said the agreement had been discussed for awhile, and though a few negotiation efforts fell through without a deal, this time was different. Ducks Unlimited enlisted financial assistance in the form of a grant from the Wetlands Conservation Act as well as support from the Wetlands America Trust and Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority.
“We’re always looking for opportunities to expand our WMAs and give the public more property to recreate on,” Baker said. “This was an opportunity to further that mission, and we have willing landowners who just wanted to sell their property adjacent to the WMA. We’re able to partner with Ducks Unlimited to secure some grant money to pay for a large portion of it. It came at relatively little expense and really added on to the WMA.”
The Salvador WMA is located along the northwestern shore of Lake Salvador.
Baker said the land is particularly popular, in part, because of its proximity to the New Orleans and Houma areas.
Its location is also a hit because it is in the outfall of the largest restoration project in Louisiana, immediately downstream of the Davis Pond Freshwater Diversion.
“One of the big techniques the state looks at with Master Plan are river reconversions. This is directly in an outfall,” Baker said. “It should provide some really high quality gator and fowl habitat.”