Friday, February 12, 2021

Bundick Lake restocked from hurricane kills

One of southwest Louisiana's most popular fly fishing reservoirs, Bundick Lake, was restocked recently with more than 40,000 fish. This effort was to help rejuvenate the fishery following Hurricanes Laura and Delta last Fall. 

The lake took a direct hit from Laura, causing a high volume of organic debris to be blown into the lake. The decomposition of organics, along with high water temperatures, caused dissolved oxygen concentrations to fall below critical levels. Resulting in a massive fish kill.

Among the species stocked are: 1,200 pure-strain Florida largemouth bass, 22,000 bluegill, 8,000 redear sunfish, 10,500 white crappie, and 50 pounds of threadfish shad. The fish were supplied by the LDWF freshwater hatcheries.

The Bundicks watershed has slightly higher alkalinity than most western Louisiana waters. For this reason, it supports slightly higher fish populations and growth rates.

Hatchery Manager Kristi Butler is optimistic. "Based on preliminary sampling results, predator densities and competition for food are low. These factors, combined with the sizes and genetics of the bass we are stocking, will result in a very high success rate".

Bundick has been a popular destination for southwest Louisiana fly anglers seeking chunky redears and large crappie. The lake's countless submerged stumps, and grassy shorelines, sandy bottoms were ideal habitat for both species. Louisiana Outdoors Hall of Fame fly angler Pete Cooper, Jr., spent several years routinely fishing the lower end of the lake for crappie during late winter and early Spring.