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YEAR 2002 - CRP Project #1003 (Gulf of Mexico)

Project #1003
Fisheries Habitat Restoration in the Pearl River

Lake Pontchartrain Basin, Louisiana

Project name: #1003 Fisheries Habitat Restoration in the Pearl River
Project status: Complete
Grant Administrator: Gulf of Mexico Foundation (for NOAA)
Grantee: Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation
Project location: Bogalusa, Louisiana
Grant period: May 1, 2021 - May 31, 2021 (extended to Nov 30, 2020)
Grant amount: $23,435
Project leaders: Hugh Penn, Dinah Maygarden and Dr. Barry Kohl
                         Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation
                         PO Box 6965
                         Metairie, LA 70009
                         (504) 836-2215 phone
                         (504) 836-70970 fax

Sill on Pearl River blocks sturgeon from moving upstream
Sill on Pearl River blocks Gulf sturgeon from spawning grounds.
Project designed a rock ramp to allow fish to move upstream.

Habitat: Spawning habitat of threatened Gulf sturgeon; habitat of 19 species of fish and other organisms that move within, to and from the Pearl River during their life cycles.

Species Benefiting From Restoration:

  • Alabama Shad
  • Atlantic needlefish
  • Gizzard shad
  • Gulf sturgeon
  • Hogchoker
  • Striped bass
  • Skipjack herring
  • Threadfin shad
  • American eel
  • Blacktail redhorse
  • Blue catfish
  • Channel catfish
  • Flathead catfish
  • Highfin carpsucker
  • Paddlefish
  • Pearl darter
  • Quillback
  • River redhorse
  • Southeastern blue sucker
  • Spotted sucker

Acreage Restored:

History: In order to maintain desired water levels for the Pearl River Navigation Canal in the 1950s, underwater concrete sills were constructed at the upstream end of the canal on the Pearl River and the downstream end on the Bogue Chitto River. The navigation canal now sits largely unused but sill prevents migratory species from passing upstream, especially during low water times.

Rationale for Project: The population depletion of the threatened species Gulf sturgeon is largely due to hydrologic modification to the rivers. In the Pearl River Basin, the sturgeon is prevented from accessing 80 percent of its historical spawning grounds by the combined effect of blockages by low water sills. If the effect of these blockages were removed or mitigated, the sturgeon would be able to access spawning grounds all the way to Jackson, Mississippi.

Click on photo to enlarge


Rock Ramp design - click to enlarge
Rock Ramp design

Area map - click to enlarge
Area map

Students in canoe - click to enlarge
A student volunteer drops a drogue to measure the average velocity of the Pearl River at Poole’s Bluff.

Students collect water sample - click to enlarge
Holy Cross High School students collect water sample at Poole's Bluff sill.

Barry Kohl explains process - click to enlarge
Project leader Dr. Barry Kohl explains to high school students the procedure for measuring water velocity.

Student takes notes - click to enlarge
UNO summer Program high school student Frances Sims takes
notes at the project site.

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NOAA Restoration Center

Gulf of Mexico Foundation

Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation

Gulf of Mexico Foundation - PMB 51, 5403 Everhart - Corpus Christi, TX 78411
(800) 884-4175 toll free - (361) 882-3939 phone - (361) 882-1262 fax
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webmaster: Carrie Robertson