One of Louisiana’s natural resource treasures is the abundance of waterways in the state. Meandering bayous, streams, rivers, coastal marshes and tidal creeks help make up the diversity of waterways in the Sportsman’s Paradise.
That’s why 50 years ago the Louisiana Legislature created the Louisiana Natural and Scenic Rivers System. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) administers the Scenic Rivers system, in which there are approximately 80 streams or stream segments thereof, constituting an estimated 3,100 miles of the state’s streams, rivers and bayous.
So in 2020, LDWF will celebrate the creation and evolution of the system and spotlight exactly how, where and why these beautiful waterbodies are so recognized. Among the events will be an anniversary celebration July 29 in Lacombe at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Louisiana Complex. LDWF will partner with the Louisiana Wildlife Federation, The Nature Conservancy of Louisiana and the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation to stage this event.
The purpose of the system was simple; to preserve, protect, develop, reclaim and enhance the wilderness qualities, scenic beauties and ecological regimes of certain free-flowing Louisiana streams.
“Louisiana’s Scenic Rivers System is one of the largest systems like it in the world and LDWF is proud of the role it plays in this effort,” said LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet. “It was clear many of these rivers and streams needed shielding and preservation so that generations to come would be able to enjoy them. In addition, we always want to make sure that prime habitat such as these rivers and streams are guarded so fisheries and wildlife can continue to flourish.’’
A great diversity of stream types, habitats and geographic areas are represented in the system. From large rivers like the Ouachita River in north central Louisiana to fast