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Miller said. “My only concerns are longevity and I hope the project will be regularly revisited to keep it produc- ing fish.”


The good news is that several prior


reef projects have been revisited to enhance and expand their productivity. By the time you’re reading this, addi- tional material will have been placed at the Redfish Pointe II reef in Vermillion Bay. More material will be placed than when the reef was originally constructed in 2006, to add an additional 3-4 acres of reef surface.


John Walther is a long-time CCA Louisiana volunteer and serves as chairman of their habitat committee. He oversees the reef projects for the organization and not only builds them; he fishes them. “The original reef at Bird Island in Lake Pelto is my favorite spot,” Walther says. “It was put down in 2002 and continues to produce good fish. Like others, the original reef has been enhanced and expanded with the addi- tion of Bird Island II and Pointe Mast reefs in 2009.”


The original reefs were required to use small stone which is more susceptible to damage and degradation. “Over the years, we have seen a tweaking of the regulations that now allow us to use larger materials which are longer lasting and have more dra- matic effects on the structure,” he says. Buoys can now be placed at most locations and some even allow moor- ing to the buoys.


“The expansion of allowable materials has also fostered the environmentally friendly practice of using recycled materials from roads, bridges and buildings. Larger sized crushed con- crete and bricks have lowered the cost of obtaining materials and keep it out of landfills,” he said. The placement of reefs is not an exact science. Some, like the Pickets, find near immediate success, while others may take many years to mature and regularly attract fish. “The reefs are not solely about fish- ing destinations. They add to the ecosystem even if they are not being fished,” Walther added. Be it habitat replacement, new habi-


tat, erosion control or a combination thereof, Louisiana’s inshore reef pro- gram is a great success story. While some can only be accessed by power- boats, others provide easy access by paddle craft. Others are located near fishing piers and enhance opportuni- ties for land-based fishermen. Walther stresses the grassroots


nature of CCA and that their involve- ment in the program grew from con- cern and initiative from the members. “The partnerships that have devel- oped over the years have helped rekin- dle the inshore artificial reefs program and provided legacy habitat that will serve Louisiana fishermen for genera- tions to come,” he said. For more specific information and


coordinates of all Louisiana inshore reefs, please visit ccalouisiana.com, BuildingConservation.org, and also wlf.louisiana.gov.


Chris Holmes has vast fishing experi-


ence across the United States and also in Canada, Mexico, Central America and the Bahamas. He is an award-winning outdoor writer and photographer with photo and story credits in state, regional and national publications. He currently serves as exec- utive director of the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association. Captain Travis Miller, miller-fishing- timecharters.com.


36 www.joincca.org TIDE


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