Pearl River logjam to be cleared

Published 3:58 pm Friday, August 17, 2018

On Tuesday, Aug. 28, the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) will begin deploying equipment to remove a logjam on the Pearl River just downstream from Pool’s Bluff.   Logs and other man-made debris have formed a blockage on the Pearl River in Mississippi at the Louisiana/Mississippi border, near the town of Bogalusa.

The Pearl River navigation canal will be closed at the Pool’s Bluff boat launch from Aug. 28 to Oct. 1, to allow for a temporary equipment crossing. Additionally, a small area of the Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge will be closed in the immediate vicinity of the construction work. It is anticipated that all construction should be completed prior to the Oct. 1 opening of hunting season.

“This project will not only reopen the river for migratory fish like threatened Gulf sturgeon but will also remove trash, plastic and marine debris from the ecosystem,” said Jack Montoucet, LDWF Secretary.

Also, it will reduce extreme erosion of adjacent river banks that threaten to fill scarce deep-river habitat in the area. These areas provide essential low-temperature habitats where sturgeon can take refuge from heat of shallow waters in the summer months.

Boating on the river will also be safer. Boaters currently navigate the dangerous obstruction, which blocks access to much of the 40,000 acres of public land on the Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge, as well as portions of the Old River Wildlife Management Area in Mississippi.

“This is a great opportunity. It’s nice when our work yields a positive impact on species like Gulf sturgeon and also improves public safety and access to our public lands,” said Glenn Constant, FWS Project Leader.

The project is being conducted through the FWS National Fish Passage Program in partnership with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and with cooperation from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks. Additional funding was awarded to the Southeastern Aquatic Resource Partnership (SARP) for this project through a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Marine Debris Removal Program.

This project is the culmination of many months of work between federal, state and local leaders.

“It is very rewarding that the efforts of a two-state coalition led to the removal of this hazardous logjam,” State Rep. Malinda White said. “It has been a long process but worth all the hard work to restore this section of the river. There are several challenges ahead for the Pearl.

“As we lean forward, we will continue to work as a coalition, across state lines, with a holistic approach to our tributaries, river basins, and coastal waterways. One affects the other like dominoes.”

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit online at To receive email alerts, signup at