Lake Concordia Committee to answer questions

Published 3:30 pm Tuesday, April 26, 2011

On Monday the Lake Concordia Committee will be on hand for an open meeting to answer questions about the terrible condition of Lake Concordia.

Around the first of March, I was told the committee had a meeting and voted to remove the top boards from the weir to draw the lake down. I thought the weir had been vandalized.

Anyone that knows anything about fish should know our lakes need to be as full as possible during the spawn.

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The very next day a second committee member said they did not remove the boards. A third member had a different story and so forth and so on.

So, the Concordia Parish Police Jury set up a special meeting at 6 p.m. Monday at the courthouse in Vidalia.

The lake committee will be present to answer questions from many upset lakefront property owners and fishermen.

A spring drawdown is just unheard of.

That destroyed this year’s fish spawn, and if we don’t get the weir repaired and the water stays this low, duck mites will keep the swimmers and water skiers away this summer.

The bass, bream and the few white perch that live in this small lake started moving to the shallow spawning flats toward the end of February. By the first of March the water level began to drop leaving the nesting areas high and dry.

Lake Concordia’s bass population has been on a downhill spiral for well over a decade.

In the 1990s this lake was designated by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries as one of the few trophy bass lakes in the state.

A 15 to 19 inch protected length limit, a five bass creel with only two fish allowed over 19 inches as well as a great stocking program was put in place.

At last, we had a great trophy bass lake in our parish. The lake began producing 8 to 13 pound bass.

People came from as far away as Missouri annually to fish the bass spawn on Lake Concordia.

Businesses around the lake were doing great.

The lake level was perfect and everyone was happy.

In 2000-2001 we had a drought. Low water equates to bad water quality that breeds diseases and duck mites.

The dreaded largemouth bass virus virtually wiped out thousands of big bass from Lake Concordia in 2000 and 2001.

A few local people that don’t understand bass were blaming the poor fishing on the slot and stocking program not the LMBV. That was just too strange.

They didn’t like the slot limit anyway, since they could not catch, kill and eat all the fish they caught.

So, despite hundreds of sportsmen and women that wanted a trophy bass lake in this parish, the slot and stocking program was removed. That combined with the LMBV took its toll on the bass population.

Low water (or chemicals) eventually wiped out the crisp, clean coon tail moss beds that filter the water.

The bass population began to fade away along with all the out of town people that came here throughout the 1990s, spending their money in this area.

The two marinas on the lake began to struggle to pay their bills. One of the marinas is now for sale. In the 1990s their parking lots were full.

Boat trailers and tow vehicles had to park along Fishermen Drive to fish the lake.

This past weekend there were six boats at one ramp on a Saturday and about that many at the other.

People are no longer coming to Concordia Parish to fish Lake Concordia.

Removing the boards from the weir during the spawn was yet another bad mistake.

Hopefully the few pier owners that built their docks too low to the water will correct that and the committee won’t continue to destroy this lake to please a handful of people that made a mistake.

If you have concerns or questions come to the meeting Monday night.

I am not sure if non-lake residents will be allowed to speak but I do feel if you fish this lake and spend your money here you have as many rights as property owners.

No one owns this “public” lake.