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Lake Martin Kayak Launch

(Original Article Courtesy of Pack and Paddle, www.packpaddle.com.  Article revised accordingly). 

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Through the cooperation of the Nature Conservancy, Lafayette Paddle Club, and the Lafayette Kayak Fishing club a new launch for paddle craft at Lake Martin is complete! This is huge news for Lafayette area paddlers who prior to this did not have a designated paddle craft launch for this beautiful paddling estuary. The launch required the installation of timbers to stair step the bank down to lake level – making launching much easier. Both clubs teamed up to dig the steps and install the timbers. The last steps of sand and limestone on these steps we installed end of April '15. The ongoing maintenance of this site will be a community responsibility. Pack & Paddle, along with both clubs have committed to picking up litter and doing light weed eating when we are out there for trips. We ask all paddlers that are out enjoying this new facility to please pick up any litter you see and report problems to the Nature Conservancy. On behalf of Pack & Paddle, we would like to thank Kacy King from the Nature Conservancy for backing this much needed idea. Also Carl Schexnayder and Greg Sonnier for spearheading the project. And both clubs for building the launch supporting this community resource in the future! Here's the location of the launch. To get there, continue down the gravel road past the boat launch until you reach the parking area near the Ruth Canal. The launch will be on your left. - See more at: http://packpaddle.com/2015/official-lake-martin-paddlers-launch-in-the-works/#sthash.nN9ws9ox.dpuf

 

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FOGI Grand Isle Kayak Launch Fund

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We raised funds and LKFC donated from the clubs donation fund for the Friends of Grand Isle Kayak launch.  This is a sketch of the launch. the money was used for building an information kiosk for rules/parking, directions, etc.  

 

Tag Team Catch and Release

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The Lafayette Kayak Fishing Club held a first-of-its-kind catch-and-release team fishing tournament at Choupique Bayou on Jan 7, 2012. All fish were tagged and released as part of the CCA Louisiana Cooperative Marine Fish Tagging Program.  The event was sponsored by Pack and Paddle and Scotty Paddle Sports.  Despite temps in the low 30's at 6 a.m. a dozen diehard anglers arrived at the Choupique Bayou launch off of LA Hwy 27 near Sulphur, LA in full winter gear.  Participants drew numbers out of a hat to determine their fishing partner.  Teams then strategized to figure out how and where to catch the longest combined length of Redfish. 

 

Blast-off occured at 7 a.m.  It did not take long for us to receive our first call by LKFC member Tray Collins ready to measure and tag the first Redfish of the day.  Ironically Tray called much later in the day to inform us that he caught a redfish tagged under the same CCA program.  The information on the tag was collected and reported to CCA.   The fish was tagged and released in the same bayou back in Oct 2011 and did not grow much.

Tray 1st Red

 

Teams had to fish in the same vicinity of each other only using artificial baits. 

2 tournament officials ran the bayou in a Gheenoe Low-Tide boat.  Gheenoe's are essentially tricked out canoes equipped with an outboard motor.  This particular one had a 25 hp motor, casting deck, center console and polling platform. Anglers kept their fish alive on a stringer and waited for the mobile scales to make the rounds up and down the bayou. 

We had a great mix of regulars and new faces in the tournament. The tourney included 2 firsts for our club(team event and catch and release format).  Congrats to Tray Collins of Lafayette, and Morris Houck of Pineville for taking home the cash pot with a 5 fish length of 121.5 inches. Very impressive. They also took home a prize for most fish caught that was tagged and released(8). Tray picked up another prize for catching the first red of the day. He caught it at 7:22 a.m.  And to round out the prizes was Jim Grady with the longest fish of the day. An impressive 26" red. 24 fish (23 Redfish and 1 Speckled Trout) were caught, tagged and released.

 

For more information on the CCA fish tagging program please visit http://www.ccalouisiana.com/cca11/fish-tagging-program

We have more photos from the day.

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LKFC Constructs First Kayak Launch

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Public access to fishing grounds is proving to be more and more difficult these days.  But a handful of members from a local kayak fishing club proved that anything is possible with a win-win scenario for both parties.  Members of the Lafayette Kayak Fishing Club coordinated with a private landowner to help organize, design and construct a kayak launch on Choupique Bayou.   Total cost of the project you ask?  $0.  Time it took to construct the launch?  2 hours. 

The property is located on Choupique Bayou, a natual river flowing South/Southeast of Sulphur and Carlyss, then ending at the Northwest end of Calcasieu Lake.  The owner offers services to anglers including a power boat launch and covered boat stalls available at reasonable rates.  The area consists of brackish marsh with opportunities to catch Redfish, Speckled Trout and Flounder.

 

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What sparked the effort was the lack of publicly accessible kayak launches on Big Lake and throughout Louisiana.  Members who frequent the Choupique powerboat launch saw value in having a dedicated kayak launch.  Members surmised that such an effort could potentially benefit a land owner with property improvements and at the same time help out with accessibility issues for paddlers.  For kayak anglers it would secure yet another kayak-friendly and accessible area to fish.  Luckily one member in the landscaping business put in a call and secured a donation of 7 1/2  yards of limestone which was also delivered at no charge.  A big thank you goes out to both companies (who have asked to remain anonymous).  Consequently 8 members met at the property on August 6, 2011 to build the launch. The crew broke ground on the 12' x 12' area by grading it for a gradual slope into the water. The property owner had scrap timber that was used to border the launch. Within 2 hours the launch was completed and ready for use.  The owner plans to add a kayak launch sign at the Hwy 27 and Chilly Westland Road entrance.  An honor-system drop box (just $2) for users of the launch will be erected soon.  A member is building a wooden hand-scrolled sign that will be made visible near the launch. 

 

Members also made some improvements to the property by backfilling washout spots near the owners boat docks.  Native grasses removed from construction were replanted adjacent to the new launch and bank.  About 1 yard of leftover gravel was spread over nearby low-lying spots. 

Members of LKFC will use this site as an example to other private landowners and State and Federal entities.  The initiative is to expand kayak launches and fishing access throughout the State.  For more information please contact Greg Sonnier at email.

How to get there- Coming from Lafayette/ I-10 East, in Sulphur take exit 20 toward Cameron, Turn left onto Ruth St, Continue onto LA-108/LA-27 for about 9 miles.  Take a right on Chili Westlund Rd.  Launch site will be on your left. Google Maps

 

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About The Lafayette Kayak Fishing Club
The club was established in 2007 and gathers frequently for kayak fishing meetings, trips and tournaments in promoting kayak fishing .  Learn how to effectively fish for redfish, speckled trout, flounder, bass and panfish from a kayak.  Monthly trips are offered to fresh and saltwater locations.  We vounteer for marsh plantings to shore up our fragile coastline.  We actively seek partnerships with landowners to build and open kayak launches. Meetings are the 3rd Tue of each month at Pack & Paddle on Pinhook @ 6PM.  Tournaments are held through the Cajun Kayak Angler Series throughout the years. Go to www.lafayettekayakfishing.com for more info.

 

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Cote Blanche Bay Shoreline Planting

July 23rd was our Going Green-Coastal Shoreline Planting. We assisted the St.Mary's Parish Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) by transporting and planting trade gallons of California bulrush.

 

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Thanks to everyone that braved the weather and help with the shoreline planting. Early on it looked like we were going to get rained out. We had somewhere around 22 people show up. LKFC and P&P were well represented. It turned out to be a great day. We ended up planting around 1800 plants.

I hope we didn't work everyone to death. It was a lot more plants than originally planned. The landowner was there and was very pleased and excited over the amount of plants we were able to put out. We have an invitation to come back in the fall and check on the planting and do a little fishing.

 

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