Friday, November 15, 2013

Bayou Manchac Paddle

  Nov. 2, 2013 - Fall Adventure Outing

From a boat launch in the Santa Maria subdivision, eight of us set off to paddle BayouManchac, a local scenic and historic river on a beautiful fall day.  We took an extension of Wards Creek into the bayou.   Guided by Jonathan Scott ( and Nathaniel Klumb of Friends of the Bayou Manchac, we followed the tree draped Bayou Manchac passing a railroad bridge, old Perkins Road bridge, Bayou Fountain, Frog Bayou Lock turning around at Alligator Bayou Lock. Fishermen told us five alligators submerged as we approached the lock.  The junction of Alligator Bayou and Bayou Manchac has been a good fishing place at least since Iberville’s visit to the area in 1699.  A Civil War lieutenant reported that the Native Americans called this area Anatamaha.  Source: Charles E. Pearson, Anatamaha: the Fish Place, Louisiana Archaeological Society Newsletter, Spring 1987, p 5.  

On our return we took a side trip a mile down Bayou Fountain where we saw one of the Kleinpeter Indian mounds.  Archaeologists have found evidence of activity as far back as 2000 years in this area. Trees draped all the way across the bayou as we maneuvered around fallen trees and tried to ignore the patches of litter. A large section of Baton Rouge drains thru Bayou Manchac, then the Amite River and into Lake Maurepas.
Since there are no public launches on the bayou, Jonathan obtained permission for us to put in and get out at Santa Maria launch.  Mary Ann Sternberg’s book, Winding through Time, provides a complete history of this historic bayou.  Click here for a video slideshow of Bayou Manchac from Alligator Bayou to the Amite River.

Find out more about the folks exploring and cleaning the creeks and bayous of the southern and eastern parts of East Baton Rouge Parish along its boundaries with Ascension and Livingston Parishes at PaddleBR.

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