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.
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
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.