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PaulMyers 06-15-2012 11:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Salty (Post 448534)
Rita was a Godsend.

In "W"s mind! :rolleyes:

MathGeek 06-16-2012 05:57 AM

Some worthwhile reading:

http://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/1306/pdf/c1306_ch6_c.pdf

http://www.masgc.org/pdf/bab/hmr/Hall.pdf

http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/sites/d...kish_marsh.pdf

http://dnr.louisiana.gov/index.cfm?m...p=home&pid=297

Plant diversity and soil organic matter content are higher in brackish marsh than in salt marsh. Brackish marsh is typically dominated by Spartina patens (marshhay cordgrass). Other significant associated species include Distichlis spicata (salt grass), Schoenoplectus olneyi (three-cornered grass), S. robustus (salt marsh bulrush), Eleocharis parvula (dwarf spikesedge), Ruppia maritima (widgeon grass), Paspalum vaginatum (seashore paspalum), Juncus roemanianus (black rush), Bacopa monnieri (coastal water hyssop), Spartina alteriflora (smooth cordgrass), and S. cynosuroides (big cordgrass). Two other major autotrophic groups in brackish marsh are epiphytic algae and benthic algae. Generally speaking, vertebrate species population levels are higher in brackish marsh compared to Salt Marsh. Brackish marsh is of very high value to estuarine larval forms of marine organisms such as shrimp, crabs, menhadden, etc. (See Salt Marsh for other functions). Brackish marsh salinity averages about 8 ppt. This community may be changed to another marsh type by shifts in salinity. Intrusion of salt water from the Gulf of Mexico up numerous waterways exerts a major influence in the configuration of the various marsh types.
from
http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/sites/d...kish_marsh.pdf

After some research, my view is that keeping the weirs open all the time is most likely trading good long term productivity of the brackish marshes they protect for increased short term productivity. The marshes behind the weirs need to be maintained as brackish marshes by keeping the weirs closed most of the time when salinity levels on the lake side are too high. If the marshes behind the weirs are allowed to change into salt marshes through increased saltwater intrusion, their potential productivity will be greatly reduced.

This is an area where it is clear that wildlife management is not a zero sum game. Wise management (protecting the brackish marsh) will maintain ecosystem productivity for years to come. Unwise management (keeping the weirs open) will provide higher satisfaction for a year or two or three, but is ultimately degrading a valuable natural resource that will hurt productivity.

The current management scheme of the weirs seems scientifically sound and data driven.

"W" 06-16-2012 06:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Salty (Post 448534)
Rita was a Godsend.

In a way it was...from a nature stand point
Good things from the storm were
#1 the marshes were getting over taken with water hyacinth's that had about 60% of the marsh choked up
#2 there was an over population of nutria rats destroying levees (none to be seen)
#3 there was and abundant fish reproduction (reddish mostly)
Mother nature will take care of herself and clean what needs cleaning
Hurricanes are part of life , we just happen to build houses in the path of these storms( nature don't care)

PaulMyers 06-16-2012 07:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by "W" (Post 448555)
In a way it was...from a nature stand point
Good things from the storm were
#1 the marshes were getting over taken with water hyacinth's that had about 60% of the marsh choked up
#2 there was an over population of nutria rats destroying levees (none to be seen)
#3 there was and abundant fish reproduction (reddish mostly)
Mother nature will take care of herself and clean what needs cleaning
Hurricanes are part of life , we just happen to build houses in the path of these storms( nature don't care)

And this has what to do with the weirs and their operation?

"W" 06-16-2012 12:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Salty (Post 448534)
Rita was a Godsend.

Quote:

Originally Posted by PaulMyers (Post 448539)
In "W"s mind! :rolleyes:

Quote:

Originally Posted by PaulMyers (Post 448580)
And this has what to do with the weirs and their operation?

U tell me?????:rolleyes:

wishin i was fishin 06-16-2012 08:32 PM

In summary, the weirs could be opened now and produce fish. but it would impact the marsh and long term productivity would decrease.

Closing the weirs now, though having an initial impact will be better for long term productivity and health.

Are the weirs the only place to fish? Or is it the only place to fish if you don't have talent?

Ya know you guys could always come to Vermilion bay and catch hardheads...

"W" 06-16-2012 08:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wishin i was fishin (Post 448709)
In summary, the weirs could be opened now and produce fish. but it would impact the marsh and long term productivity would decrease.

Closing the weirs now, though having an initial impact will be better for long term productivity and health.

Are the weirs the only place to fish? Or is it the only place to fish if you don't have talent?

Ya know you guys could always come to Vermilion bay and catch hardheads...


Hell since they closed the weirs the parking lots have been light


.got to love that..... There are a ton of people who know nothing other than fishing weirs.....have no clue about the lake..... Just hope they don't start trying it out.....could be some damage coming

PaulMyers 06-16-2012 08:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wishin i was fishin (Post 448709)
In summary, the weirs could be opened now and produce fish. but it would impact the marsh and long term productivity would decrease.

Closing the weirs now, though having an initial impact will be better for long term productivity and health.

You sir, hit the nail on the head! :)

Smalls 06-16-2012 09:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PaulMyers (Post 448714)
You sir, hit the nail on the head! :)


That is exactly what has been said throughout this thread. Countless times.

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PaulMyers 06-16-2012 09:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Smalls (Post 448731)
That is exactly what has been said throughout this thread. Countless times.

Very true, but "W" catches on slowly because he already knows everything.

1fastmerc 06-16-2012 09:59 PM

I think smalls need to change his name to smarts. :-)


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dmtfish 06-16-2012 10:16 PM

I have read through this entire thread, and Smalls, Duck Butter, etc.. ya’ll seem to have a pretty good grasp of the situation and consequences of saltwater intrusion. I have to say Smalls you are pretty much on point with your synopsis. Prior to Rita, I worked for a private engineering firm that collected the data in that marsh. For almost 5 yrs i collected the data and serviced the the data sondes in the reserve, the main lake, mud lake, west cove, and sabine WMA (actually collected data from Breton Sound to Sabine). This by no means makes me an expert, as I was only a field tech that collected the data and handed it over to DNR. I do have a BS though, in Environmental Resources and a minor in Resource Biology.
My first thoughts after reading this is somewhat heartbreaking, as I too used to have access to the "private" areas...and can tell you the amount of waterfowl in that marsh was absolutely stunning. I am hoping that I am wrong in assuming (after reading these posts) that Rita pretty much killed all the fresh/brackish submerged vegetation that was so prevalent in that marsh. Make no mistake, the reason the ducks were in there was for the food. I have seen first-hand the results of storm surge (saltwater intrusion) on duck numbers, as our lease in PI sucked for years after Rita due to vegetation die off...
Second thoughts after reading this, is that I am glad many people grasp the overall picture and understand the importance of wetlands management. With all projects, there will be some narrow minded people are unhappy with what we are trying to do with resource management…Case in point, anyone remember the Caernarvon Freshwater diversion? Oyster fisherman were outraged and even filed law suits declaring their fishing grounds were “ruined.” Were they? Maybe in terms of oysters, but the fact of the matter is this area was returned to a beautiful marsh (and what it was historically) and land was actually “built up” from the sediment laden fresh water. In fact, the area has become a tremendous bass fishery.
Without these saltwater barriers, our coast line will continue to erode, as freshwater marsh becomes brackish, brackish marsh becomes salt marsh, salt marsh becomes open water. Waltrip, you work offshore, so by frequently flying over the coast I know you have seen first hand how much our marshes have eroded over the years (not trying to single you out, just trying to make a point to justify why those weirs are there). I have been in the oilfield 6 years now, and can tell you that it is quite depressing to see sooo much land disappear in such a short amount of time.
I won’t rant any longer, all I am going to say is that those weirs most definitely DO NOT support the Entire lake. They may obstruct some of the ebb and flow of food sources for the fishery, but in the long term they are there for the good of the entire ecosystem and surrounding watershed and marsh.

Cheers…

"W" 06-17-2012 07:58 AM

I will disagree that the marsh don't feed a big part of the lake..... Those two weirs support a huge roll in food and breading grounds for the lake....

Smalls 06-17-2012 09:23 AM

And the reason it can is because of the fact that it is there. No weirs, no marsh. That point has been made time and time again. Whether you understand that is irrelevant. As has been stated, there are fish slots for fish to move in and out of the marsh through those weirs. Also as has been stated, the weirs are not closed indefinitely. They open when certain conditions have been met and on full moons.

I'm just curious what your issue is with the management of the weirs. Explain to me, with real evidence, what makes you think that marsh is healthy. And the fact that there are tons of fish, shrimp and crabs does not make it healthy. It has also been stated that shrimp and crabs feed on dead vegetation, which is an indicator of a less than healthy ecosystem. There is a good bit of that. Now I will tell you, there is a good bit of submerged aquatics in that area now, which is a definite improvement over what it was in many places a year ago.

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"W" 06-17-2012 10:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Smalls (Post 448813)
And the reason it can is because of the fact that it is there. No weirs, no marsh. That point has been made time and time again. Whether you understand that is irrelevant. As has been stated, there are fish slots for fish to move in and out of the marsh through those weirs. Also as has been stated, the weirs are not closed indefinitely. They open when certain conditions have been met and on full moons.

I'm just curious what your issue is with the management of the weirs. Explain to me, with real evidence, what makes you think that marsh is healthy. And the fact that there are tons of fish, shrimp and crabs does not make it healthy. It has also been stated that shrimp and crabs feed on dead vegetation, which is an indicator of a less than healthy ecosystem. There is a good bit of that. Now I will tell you, there is a good bit of submerged aquatics in that area now, which is a definite improvement over what it was in many places a year ago.

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Well your fish slots you talk about are pretty useless when the lake is 3ft higher that the marsh....shrimp ,crabs and fish do not swim up a 3ft wall...and when tide is low you still have a 2ft drop

Red fish use this marsh to spawn and so do trout so by closing the weirs you blocking habits
Shrimp from that marsh feeds out with bait fish and the lower south end of the lake which NO bait is coming out with gates closed

Smalls 06-17-2012 10:30 AM

Again we get back to habitat. Yes, that is important. And in the short term that is going to be negatively affected in terms of breeding. But the effect is not going to be as great as people think. Again, if you don't close those weirs, you further degrade the habitat, and you lose that breeding ground. Those species you listed all prefer grassy shallow water areas to lay eggs in. As I stated before, last year at this time, submerged aquatics were a myth in many marshes. Salinities were too high to support it, and in that area of the weirs, lake water was making the problem worse. If you have no submerged aquatics because of salinities, you have no breeding ground.

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LouisianaSportsman 06-18-2012 12:37 PM

Agreed Smalls. The entire marsh behind the weirs was the saltiest on record to say the least. Since the end of the drought there's been a huge improvement in the overall health of the marsh. Thankfully we have the weirs to thank by retaining some of this freshwater and guide it to the brackish/fresh marsh it was. If you're ever curious on the marsh salinity behind the weirs you can view near real time readings on this site. You click on the small icon that is in marsh behind the weirs and you can see for yourself.
http://waterdata.usgs.gov/la/nwis/rt

cgoods17 06-18-2012 01:42 PM

Thought the lake was covered in bait? where did they come from if the weirs are closed and the marsh supplies the lake with majority of food?

cgoods17 06-18-2012 01:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by "W" (Post 449173)
There is not a lack of bait ....as of last time I was out
..it was glass calm and bait consumed the whole lake....it was full of mullet and shad

The trout MG measured and weight with me were full of eggs and only two were males that I recall

This has been more than one day he worked a week on this ...

:D

"W" 06-18-2012 02:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cgoods17 (Post 449262)
Thought the lake was covered in bait? where did they come from if the weirs are closed and the marsh supplies the lake with majority of food?

Weirs have been closed only 3 weeks...:shaking:

Long term time you will notice an effect

But all this rain I'm sure they will open back up this week or next


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