Department of Natural Resources
Atchafalaya Basin Bulletin

Hello from the Department of Natural Resources Atchafalaya Basin Program!


A recent article in the Baton Rouge Business Report revisited longstanding complaints about the Bayou Postillion dredging project that was completed in 2005. The article reiterates false claims repeatedly made about the project, its purpose, and the Atchafalaya Basin Program. Following is a quick list of some of the key misconceptions that have been disseminated over time, and that have been raised again in the most recent article.

1.) Contrary to claims made, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers did not dredge Bayou Postillion. While the Corps did issue a permit associated with the State's dredging project, the Corps did not carry out the dredging. The project was carried out by the State for the purpose of increasing water flow through Bayou Postillion to help improve water quality there and in the adjacent swamp.

2.) As recognized in the article, for years Bayou Postillion, like much of the Atchafalaya Basin, has been "accreting," or filling in with silt. By 2003, the Bayou was nearly 100 percent filled in, less than 5 feet wide in some areas. Without action, the Bayou would have disappeared. As a result, the State and its citizens would have lost the right to use the Bayou at all, along with all its mineral rights under the Bayou, to the adjacent landowners. The purpose of the project was to prevent this from happening and to preserve the adjacent swamps and ecosystems by maintaining the flow of water in the Bayou. As shown by the approvals for the project, it was appropriately designed to achieve this purpose.
The project was successful. After its completion in 2005, Bayou Postillion still maintains a width of approximately 75 feet to 200 feet. Under the land rights agreements for the project, the public is now guaranteed the right to use the entire width of the Bayou from bank to bank. And the State is now guaranteed mineral rights under the Bayou, ranging from 25 feet to 200 feet, regardless of whether there is more accretion in the future. Local sport and commercial fishermen who use the bayou for access and fishing are pleased with the results of the project.

3.) Though permit and environmental violations associated with the project have been alleged, neither the courts nor State and federal regulatory agencies with jurisdiction in the area have found any merit to those allegations to date.

4.) The wells in question were not "in the exact location where the bayou had been dredged," as claimed. The closest of the seven wells noted in the article was a half-mile away from the dredging. And the well operators used Old River for access, not Bayou Postillion, as noted in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit pertaining to dredging of Old River associated with the drilling projects. Simply put, there was no oil and gas activity in relation to Bayou Postillion.

5.) None of the drilling units associated with the wells include any portion of the area involved in the Bayou Postillion dredging project ("drilling units" establish which mineral rights owners are entitled to share in production revenue from a well). This means that the State neither lost nor gained oil and gas revenue from those wells as a result of the project or any agreements associated with it.

The referenced article can be found here:


The Livingston Parish News: Glide through history on the Atchafalaya bayous at Blast from the Past Summer History Camp 2017
The Acadiana Advocate: Wildlife and fisheries commission amends duck, deer seasons
Louisiana Sportsman: Channel catfish do it all

KATC: Residents aim to keep Lake Martin Clean with trash pickup

Friends of the Atchafalaya, meets 7:00 PM on TUESDAY, March 7, at The Nature Conservancy Office at 721 Government St, #200, Baton Rouge, LA
Atchafalaya Trace Commission Meeting, March 8 at 10 am in Baton Rouge
Bal du Dimanche in February, Sundays from 1 - 4 pm at Vermilionville in Lafayette
La Table Francaise, last Saturday of every month at NUNU Arts and Culture Collective in Arnaudville
Les Courdre Pointes Quilting Circle, every Thursday from 1:30 - 3:30 pm at NUNU Arts and Culture Collective in Arnaudville
Atchafalaya History Kids Summer Camp, June 19-23 and June 26-30 at the West Baton Rouge Museum in Port Allen

Send in your Basin Pics!

Let us know if you have an upcoming event to promote the Basin!

Checking the water:
The information below is obtained from the USGS and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and has been compiled by DNR into this format to allow a quick look at information pertinent to the Atchafalaya Basin. Current Atchafalaya Basin water levels from NOAA.

Data is for 3/6/2017


Ohio River at Cairo
Location: Southernmost gauge on the Ohio River in Illinois Reading significance - used to forecast rises on the Mississippi. Lag time, 4 to 6 days.
Flood Stage: 40'
Stage: 34.5'
24 hour change: +1.9'
Forecast: expect to RISE to 38.5' by 3/11

Mississippi River, just south of ORCS, at Red River Landing
Reading: Mississippi River south of ORCS, after the diversion into the Atchafalaya
Flood Stage: 48'
Stage: 29.5'
24 hour change: -0.4'
Forecast: expect to RISE to 32.1' by 3/11

Mississippi River at Baton Rouge
Flood Stage: 35'
Stage: 15.1'
24 hour change: -0.5'
Forecast: expect to RISE to 16.7' by 3/11

Mississippi River at New Orleans
Flood Stage: 17'
Stage: 4.5'
24 hour change: +0.1'
Forecast: expect to HOLD at 4.5' through 3/11
Atchafalaya River

Atchafalaya River at Melville
Flood Stage: 34'
Stage: 7.5'

Atchafalaya River at Krotz Springs
Flood Stage: 29'
Stage: 6.8'

Atchafalaya River above Butte La Rose
Flood Stage: 20'
Stage: 5.5'
Forecast: expect to FALL to 5.4' by 3/11

Atchafalaya River at Bayou Sorrell Locks on the GIWW
Flood Stage: 12'
Stage: 4.0'
Forecast: expect to HOLD at 4.0' through 3/11

Atchafalaya at Millet (Myette) Point
Flood Stage: 15'
Stage: 3.5'

Atchafalaya River at Morgan City
Flood Stage: 6'
Stage: 3.2'

Murphy Lake near Bayou Sorrel
Stage: 9.80'

Lower Grand River at Bayou Sorrel
Stage: 5.23'

Bayou Courtableau
Stage: 18.15'

Middle Fork, Bayou Long
Stage: 3.09'

Arm of Grand Lake near Crook Chene Cove
Stage: 7.05'

Pontoon Bridge at Butte Larose
Stage: 6.76'

Lake Pelba at I-10, Henderson
Stage: 10.75'

Little Alabama Bayou at Sherbourne
Stage: 18.49'

Work Canal near I-10
Stage: 8.65'

Bayou La Rompe at Lake Long
Stage: 5.99'

Keelboat Pass below Lake Chicot
Stage: 3.69'

  Department of Natural Resources
617 North Third Street | LaSalle Building
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
(225) 342-0556
Like Us on Facebook
Follow Us on Twitter
PROFILE OPTIONS: Subscribe | Unsubscribe | Archives
If you are having trouble viewing this message, please click here.