Since completion of a wetlands planting in May 2014, the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation (LPBF) has been monitoring the plant and animal life on the bayou, and it is flourishing.
Over the summer there were many herons and egrets feeding on bait fish that had entered the bayou. There are also signs of shrimp, which attract many species of both fish and birds. The most surprising reports have been the large amount of speckled trout being caught in the bayou, in addition to the redfish we already knew had returned.
Scientists are largely crediting the monthly openings of the floodgates to the reappearance of these prized fish. The flood gate openings allow water from Lake Pontchartrain to flow into Bayou St. John, which not only raises the water line, but also increases the amount of biodiversity.
The LPBF expects the wetlands creation project at the mouth of Bayou St. John to have similar beneficial impacts. Creation of the new habitat in the bayou is already providing an area for many species to thrive. This will not only help improve biodiversity along the bayou but also along the south shore of Lake Pontchartrain, which is largely impounded by a concrete seawall, giving species no access to the wetlands in which they like to hide and hunt.
LPBF has identified other potential wetland creation projects along the shore. Each of these projects will improve lake habitat, fishing recreation, etc. If you wish to support or volunteer for the Bayou St. John project or any other similar projects, please contact LPBF at (504) 836- 2215.