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Weir has been vandalized once again

The weir on Lake Concordia has apparently been vandalized again. The lake level is extremely low and we need high water for a good bass and bream spawn this spring.

Several lake property owners, visiting fishermen as well as local sportsmen and ladies have called, e-mailed and come by our shop to ask what was going on with the lake.

One man said the area he and his grandson fish for bream off the pier is only 1 foot deep.

At that time I had not been on Lake Concordia in several weeks. Last Sunday I launched at the old wildlife and fisheries ramp on the upper third of the lake.

My intentions were to boat up in the extreme north end of the lake. That is probably the most well known spawning site of all the Louisiana oxbow lakes along the Mississippi River.

The lake record is a 13.05-pound bass. Many 8- to 12-pound bass were also caught from the north flats during the 1990s. At that time the lake was designated by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries as one of only a few trophy bass lakes.

A good stocking program was put in place, as well as a 15- to 19-inch protected slot limit.

Anglers were allowed two bass over the slot and three under. The lake began producing trophy bass, word spread and visiting anglers were traveling from as far away as Alabama and Missouri to fish Lake Concordia.

The lake was loaded with coon tail moss beds. The water clarity in the spawning flats were so clear many sportsmen and ladies found themselves watching the bass build their nests rather than fishing.

It was a great decade for Lake Concordia, and the parish was benefiting from visiting anglers spending money on lodging, food and gas.

In 2000 the slot was lifted for reasons I would rather not comment on at this time. In 2001, record low water levels spawned the dreaded largemouth bass virus and we lost countless trophy bass.

What bass were left in the lake were no longer protected by the slot length limit and five bass creel. It was a free-for-all.

By 2006 the lake’s bass population began a downhill spiral. Now, here we sit in 2011 with a beautiful little 1,100 acre lake that used to bring pleasure to hundreds of anglers and it’s in horrible shape.

Back to my trip last Sunday evening. I made the run north. There’s a duck blind on the right side of the north flats and that’s basically where the spawning area starts.

I ran aground before I could get to that area. The water level is about 3 feet below normal.

Now I’m wondering why the level is so low. I know we have not had that much rain and the Mississippi River was at a record low stage from December through February, that lowered the water table but the lake still should not be this low in March.

I boated to the weir. It’s a concrete structure with boards on top that can be removed in case of a flood.

Two of the four boards were missing. This is what I believe to be the third time the weir has been vandalized.

In a nutshell, if repairs are not made within the next week or so, 50 percent of the bass spawn will be lost.

The low water created poor water quality which resulted in a minor fish kill over the past two weeks.

Most of the dead fish are bream and small stripers. Hopefully the weir will be repaired soon and help save a beautiful lake that is already home to a struggling population of fish.

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