September 1, 2017

Mardi Gras Pass: Should It Be Left Open Or Closed Forever?

Mardi Gras Pass is a natural phenomena that’s caused a ton of controversy. There’s no debating that it has changed the landscape, but has it been for better or worse?

Mardi Grass Pass in Louisiana

Look, at the end of the day I am only an inshore angler. That’s it.

This means, I don’t have to catch fish. I launch the boat to continue my journey as an inshore angler and appreciate what makes Louisiana great.

So, regardless of what happens with fresh or salty water, I will always be able to find and catch fish somewhere, somehow.

River is high? Fine, I’ll run to where there isn’t river water.

A lagoon turns fresh? Cool. I’ll catch bass, trout and reds.

Same lagoon turns salty? Cool. I’ll catch trout and reds.

The Earth still turns. At the end of the day I do not care if Mardi Gras Pass is opened or closed.

What is this body of water?

In the past it did not have this name, and was a structure designed to control salinity levels in and around Black Bay for oyster production.

Today it’s a cut going from the Mississippi River to the Back Levee Canal at 29°31’44.98″N  89°43’35.78″W

It was created by the Mississippi River on Mardi Gras Day 2012. High river levels cut through the road there and created what is now known as Mardi Gras Pass.

A Big Change

Ever since, this pass has dramatically transformed the area. Bodies of water that didn’t have aquatic grass now have mats of it.

Should we close it?

I’m not an engineer nor am I a biologist. I’m just some dude with a leaky boat and a laptop.

But, rest assured I love fishing from Horsepower Canal to Felicity Bay. Sure, there is nasty river water, but find a good grass mat and you’ll see the other side is loaded with clean water to catch redfish and bass in, like in this YouTube video.

In fact, the best redfish trips of my life where in these bodies of water. I’m not saying this because I am pro-dredge or pro-diversion, I am saying this because that has been my experience.

If it were up to me, and the masses were beckoning for my decision, and it had to be made, I’d decide to leave Mardi Gras Pass open.

That’s because the pass is a step towards what the Mississippi River used to do. I feel she still creates land. She certainly creates life.

What do you think we should do with Mardi Gras Pass?

Some people will love reading this, others will hate me for it.

Either way, I know change is the only constant in Louisiana.

What do you think? Scroll to comment below.

Captain Devin

About the Author

Devin is a former fishing guide and lifelong inshore angler. He founded Louisiana Fishing Blog in 2012 to share his ideas as a charter captain and still writes in it today. Since then he's created a fishing university — LAFB Elite — where he teaches inshore anglers how to safely navigate Louisiana's coast and catch more fish.

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  • I grew up fishing the east bank and westbank. On the westbank in empire the land is 90 percent gone. No more Schofield bay! Just in my 50 years of living. We have a camp on the east bank at pointe a la hache now, since late 90s. Katrina destroyed oysters and when it started to repair itself, Mardi gras pass happened and total finished it off. Fishing is totally different, less saltwater species and more never seen before freshwater species and no oysters!!
    From tons of oysters to zero, beshols is barely holding on without the oyster boats. I hate what the pass has done today but can see the positive effects for the future. In just 10 years land and trees are coming back. Filling in and adding. I don’t like the longer ride to find fish but love the marsh building back.
    We can’t control mother nature, so we should learn to live with her. Controlling the river with levees has destroyed our coastline and no one complains, the river should have always been free.

  • Hello…I am totally against your opinion…I realize that the oil companies dug canals not in the best interest of the natural marsh..However I have been fishing the Delacroix for 74 years..PERIOD.. the economy..the money spent in our region on boats, motors, fishing ..hunting, gas, seafood are now having a serious impact on our seafood earning people.. why do they have to fill up the marsh..a natural producing food chain ..that affects so many people and our culture..culture culture..when builing barriers and building islands that were once a protection were not even considered.but now we have that levee…and still keep our culture and sport at its best offering..most of the people making thse decisions are not even from this area and did not grow up in this culture…but yet they are hell bent on stopping oyster ..shrimp and fishing to continue as was the finest in the world. That area was a natural marsh….not a dry high land…if there were no alternatives I would agree but they have many choices..rather than go with the people they are going with what they they say is happening..So it is bringing WHAT SO WHAT..WE AS SPORTSMAN WANT OUR MARSH.WITH SALT…TAKE ANOTHER COURSE..IN COLLEGE U SELECT WHAT FITS U BEST…IN ALL OF LIFE THAT WORKS WHY NOT WITH THE MARSH….PROTECT BY OTHER MEANS..THAT IS A OPTION.many options again there are MANY OPTIONS…PLEASE CONTACT ME AND i WILL DO MY VERY BEST TO JOIN WITH AS MANY AS POSSIBELE TO BRING OUR MARSH BACK……STANLEY CHAISSON PS just not enough space to explain more.!!!!!!!!!!!!

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