updated 5:52 p.m. Wednesday, March 9
It’s apparently going to be even worse than we expected earlier today, according to the latest U.S. Geological Survey projections. Lake D’Arbonne may rise to 90 feet – 10 feet over flood stage — by Friday night.
If you have a boat in your boat house, raising it isn’t going to be good enough. You need to get it out and to dry ground. If you have a boat house, camp or other structure that is going to flood, it’s also a good idea to throw the breakers and cut electrical power to those areas.
There’s no way to know for sure what will happen, but the threat for low-lying property is real. Take precautions.
ADDITIONALLY — Lake Claiborne near Homer is expected to crest early tomorrow at 193.5 feet. That is almost eight feet above normal pool stage of 185 feet for Claiborne. All that water that leaves Claiborne flows down through Lake D’Arbonne as well as the tremendous rain that has fallen in south Arkansas in the lake’s watershed.
updated 9:31 a.m. Wednesday, March 9
Issued by The National Weather Service Shreveport, LA — 7:56am CST, Wed Mar 9 THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SHREVEPORT HAS ISSUED A FLOOD WARNING FOR THE BAYOU D’ARBONNE AT LAKE D’ARBONNE AT FARMERVILLE, LOUISIANA. * FROM THIS AFTERNOON UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE… OR UNTIL THE WARNING IS CANCELLED. * AT 645 AM WEDNESDAY THE POOL STAGE WAS 82.0 FEET. * MAJOR FLOODING IS FORECAST. * FLOOD POOL STAGE IS 83 FEET.
* FORECAST… RISE ABOVE FLOOD STAGE BY THIS AFTERNOON AND CONTINUE TO RISE TO NEAR 88.5 FEET BY SATURDAY MORNING. ADDITIONAL RISES REMAIN POSSIBLE THEREAFTER.
* IMPACT… EXPECT MAJOR FLOODING AROUND THE LAKE WITH SEVERAL HOMES WITH WATER IN THEM. THE NEW SPILLWAY WILL BE OPERATED AT FULL CAPACITY TO CONTROL FLOODING, BUT VERY HEAVY RAINFALL WILL CONTINUE THROUGH THURSDAY. SECURE BOATS FOR HIGH WATER. TRAVEL WILL BECOME VERY DIFFICULT AROUND THE LAKE AS WELL WITH ACCESS ROADWAYS CUT OFF. THIS REPRESENTS THE HIGHEST CREST ON LAKE D’ARBONNE SINCE THE LAKE CRESTED AT 90.78 FEET DURING APRIL 30 OF 1991.
*** IMPORTANT NOTE: NO DATA HAS BEEN COMPILED FOR HOW MUCH THE TAINTER GATES WILL HELP REDUCE FLOODING IN A SITUATION LIKE THIS. IT MAY NOT BE AS BAD AS PREDICTED. BUT AT THE SAME TIME, IT VERY WELL COULD BE. THE TAINTER GATES CAN HELP, BUT CAN NOT OVERCOME ALL THIS RAIN HERE AND NORTH OF THE LAKE.
BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY. HOPE FOR THE BEST, BUT PREPARE FOR THE WORST.
WE RECEIVED THIS NOTE FROM STEVE CAGLE WITH THE LAKE COMMISSION: “When people ask about that prediction from weather service remind them that is prior to the tainter gates. There is no data history for a prediction. Yes it’s coming up but with gates wide open there is twice as much as ever going out. Please put a note on your site. This is extreme but there is no data to give a crest. All is being done that can be and we started Monday in preparation.”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Now, on to today’s fish story…
FRIED CHICKEN AND CHEESE PUFFS — It didn’t take long Monday morning for me to be reminded that catching fish isn’t the pivotal moment in a lifetime of fishing. Thank goodness. Dave DeRousse and I stood on the boat dock and cussed the weatherman under our breath. Several of them, in fact. None of them got it right. It was supposed to be somewhat calm for a couple of hours anyway.
“If this is a five mile an hour wind then I’ll eat liver and onions for supper. I hate liver and onions. I hate 17 gusting to 20 mile an hour winds when the crappie are biting, too, especially when they are biting about 612 rolling waves across the lake from my boat dock. This has happened before. Dave and I have fished together way back to the days when ULM started with an N.
If it can happen fishing, we’ve probably seen it.
I turned on the imaginary GPS map in my head and pinpointed a couple of waypoints on the leeward side of Terrell Island where we could hide from the vicious southeasterly wind, kind of. That spot, and the little cove between Hwy. 33 and Ramp Road were the only two that came up as fishable in my head map.
It was just 6:30 a.m.
“Want to just break out the fried chicken and fish off the dock,” Dave asked.
Nope. We are going fishing. Crappie fishing.
We eased the boat out and headed into the wind down the bank, past the boat ramp where one fisherman was already loading his boat BACK ON the trailer and we headed into the little cove.
The island and it’s houses blocked us from the windward side enough to hold our jig poles steady. We worked the shallows. We worked a couple of little humps. We worked the depths of the old slough. Two crappie were glad to see our baits and gave us an obligatory “thump”. The rest must have found somewhere else to spend the morning. I guess if fish are 20 feet deep in the lake, they don’t care if the wind is blowing or not.
There ended up being six wayward boats up in the little leeward cove. We didn’t see anybody else catch a fish, but got a good laugh thinking about the people slowing down and watching from the road. They’ll spread the word that we were all up in here and the fish must be tearing it up right here! There’ll be 25 boats up in here tomorrow, I told one of the other fishermen.
Two hours and about 100 old fishing stories passed by. Normally when we bass fish and the fish aren’t biting, we come up with some exciting form of entertainment like casting out Rattletrap lures and having bait races back to the boat. Or have a contest who can hit a stump with the lure and not get hung up the most times in a row. Crappie fishing offers no such energizing solace.
It was time to break out the chicken.
Chicken breasts and cheese balls have helped Dave and I catch more fish than any one lure, rod or reel. It’s our fishing signature. Our best messes of fish have come with those two key active ingredients in the boat.
One time very near this exact spot, we didn’t bring any fried chicken and cheese balls. We were fishing in the only tournament Dave ever participated in. It was a bass tournament with a 10 fish limit. We weighed in nine fish and missed winning by less than one pound. If only Dave would have had one cheese ball that morning, maybe he could have caught at least one fish. Just one.
- My fishing tip of the day: the fried chicken breasts from the Quick Stop just west of the Sterlington bridge seem to work the best, but they are only available for afternoon fishing trips.
The wind was really kicking up now, just like the weatherman said it would, only 12 hours before his confident prediction. We had covered most of our usual stories that old men repeat so often they sometimes just number them and say “No. 42” with a laugh, just to save time. The fish were not going to bite. And most importantly, the chicken was gone.
We headed home, back around the bank, this time enjoying the fine, cold mist of the white capping waves crashing over the front of the boat and into our face. Dave mentioned something about not being fully awake until then. I always knew he could eat chicken in his sleep.
We took out the two big crappie and got ready to filet them for his supper. It would be a nice mess for him and his wife. I asked him if he wanted me to take a picture.
“No, I’ve had my picture taken with your fish too many times and they always come back to haunt me.”
You mean like this, Dave?
PS — In case I forget to mention it next time, those fish are from Story No. 42 . . . HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA …..