OUTDOOR CORNER: Elmer’s Island one our state’s favorite locations for fishing and swimming

Lyle Johnson
Ashley Albert of Baton Rouge took second place in the 2009 Louisiana Outdoor Writer's Association Youth Journalism Photo Contest with her picture ‘Pelican on a Shrimp Boat.’

Come out and join forces with other dedicated volunteers and help clean the beaches of Elmer’s Island on Saturday, Sept. 19. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), along with a multitude of project partners are hosting an Elmer’s Island Trash Bash will take part in the trash bash.

Elmer’s Island has been one of our state’s favorite locations for fishing, crabbing, swimming and just enjoying the outdoors on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. Bordered by Caminada Pass from Grand Isle on one end and Fourchon beach on the other, the island has been off limits to the public since 2001.  

On July 4 weekend this year the island was once opened again to the public, mostly through the efforts of the East Ascension Sportsman's League. Elmer’s Island was enjoyed by our outdoor enthusiasts all this summer through Labor Day. Because of the recent hurricanes and a few other reasons, trash has piled up on the beach; hence the trash bash to clean the island.

The goal of the event is a litter-free beach that the public can enjoy.  All citizens, social organizations and civic groups are invited to participate.  Event organizers include LDWF, Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program (BTNEP), East Ascension Sportsman’s League, Grand Isle Port Commission, LSU AgCenter, Louisiana Wildlife Federation and Louisiana Sea Grant.

Volunteers are asked to report to the staging area, where they will be assigned to a designated sector and receive trash collection procedures.  All supplies including bug spray, trash bags, gloves and water will be provided to volunteers for the event.   

The public can enter Elmer’s Island Wildlife Refuge via an access road connecting La Hwy. 1 to the refuge beach area.  To avoid excess traffic on the Elmer’s Island access road and to minimize the numbers of vehicles on the beach, carpooling to the event is encouraged.

This event is made possible through generous contributions and support by LDWF sponsors.  Volunteers will enjoy both a complimentary lunch and breakfast, sponsored by the Grand Isle Community Development Team and Shaw Coastal. 

For volunteer and event registration information, please contact Mel Landry at BTNEP at 985-447-0868 or at Mel@BTNEP.org.  To register, visit BTNEP’s volunteer Web site, http://volunteer.btnep.org, complete the form provided, and either mail or fax it to BTNEP Public Involvement Coordinator, Mel Landry, using the contact information listed on the form.  For other Elmer’s Island Trash Bash information, contact Mandy Tumlin with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries at 225-765-2377 or mtumlin@wlf.la.gov.

Another Youth Journalism Contest sponsored by the Louisiana Outdoor Writer's Association has been completed. Since it’s inception in the early 90’s this excellent program has encouraged thousands of our youth to participate in a photo and essay contest.

We’re ready to announce the winners of the 2009 photo contest and display some of the winning pictures. In first place is 13-year-old Chandler Pearson’s Dreamy Wild Flowers. Chandler lives in Vivian and attends Pearson Christian Home School.

Second place went to 16-year-old Ashley Albert of St. Michael High School in Baton Rougefor her shot of a Pelican on a Shrimp Boat.

Another 16-year-old, Hannah Fabacher captured 3rd place for Raccoons in a Tree. Hannah is from Broussard and attends Firm Foundation Home School.

Jacob Thompson, a 17-year-old from Amite received Honorable Mention for Heron in the Swamp. He attends Oak Forest Academy.

I’d like to thank the young people from our parish for entering the competition and mailing the entries to the Citizen. Stay tuned because we’ll have the winners of the essay contests in a future column. Who knows? It just might be you.

To all you guys who’ve been out there for the last couple of weeks and still have a few more to go disking the ground, planting food plots, cutting shooting lanes and rebuilding the stands in the 90 degree weather, keep up the good work.

You won’t be finding me out there in that heat. I’d rather be fishing. But I’ll gladly take a seat in one when the weather cools off. That’s if you’ll invite me. Ha, Ha. Remember to keep the slack out and set the hook hard. So until next time have fun in the outdoors, be safe and may God truly bless you.

Hannah Fabacher of Broussard captured third place for ‘Racoons in a Tree.’