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November 17, 2022
BATON ROUGE, La. – The Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced today the reopening of the Wax Lake Outlet Campground in the Atchafalaya Delta Wildlife Management Area (ADWMA) in St. Mary Parish following the completion of renovations.
The campground re-opened on November 9, three days ahead of waterfowl season. The $4.2 million project addressed shoreline erosion that threatened the recreational use area, which includes a camping area, docks, piers, and restrooms.
“Areas like Wax Lake in the Atchafalaya Delta are essential to Louisiana’s identity as the Sportsman’s Paradise,” said CPRA Chairman Chip Kline. “Protecting and restoring the Wax Lake campground shoreline enhances recreational opportunities for hunters, anglers, bird watchers, and campers and conserves more of Louisiana’s unique natural resources and ecosystems.”
Officials with LDWF celebrated the completion of the project in time for duck hunting season and what it means for the future of the Wax Lake area and the Atchafalaya Delta.
“The camping area is one of our most popular coastal WMA campgrounds, and for good reason,” said LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet. “It offers sportsmen a great base camping location from which they can access some of the most productive portions of our coast for hunting, fishing, and other outdoor pursuits. Our partners at CPRA were crucial to the project being completed in time for the upcoming hunting seasons, despite high river levels and other challenges faced during the construction phase.”
The project, which began construction in January 2022, included installation of a 1,200-foot-long bulkhead and a timber jetty to prevent shoreline erosion. The new bulkhead was placed approximately 30 feet from the existing shoreline and backfilled with sediment to restore some of the campground’s lost acreage.
Two new 50-foot structures, to be used as fishing piers and boat docks, were also constructed as part of the project.
CPRA partnered with LDWF to complete the project using Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) funds.
“This project is an incredible example of what we can achieve through interagency collaboration,” said CPRA Executive Director Bren Haase. “Wildlife and Fisheries worked with us through every step of this effort, from planning and design to execution. The importance of projects like this to preserving the fishing and hunting culture in south central Louisiana cannot be overstated.”
The ADWMA has two campgrounds with primitive restrooms. There are also a number of pilings available for houseboat mooring. Users must have a permit for houseboat mooring during hunting season. Users may obtain hunting season overnight mooring privileges via a 5-year bid lease or annual lottery. Year-round mooring is prohibited.
To provide campers level, well drained, durable surfaces for their tents, the project included careful grading and hydro-seeding throughout the renovated campground; however, recently planted turf grasses are still establishing themselves. In the interim, certain areas may become muddy after heavy rain. Campers should be extra cautious when using the campground during these periods.
Waterfowl hunters are reminded about limited access areas, horsepower restrictions for mudboats/air-cooled powered vessels and 2 p.m. waterfowl closures on opening weekends.