Dredge (and Rainey) Report Cell 5 to Marsh Level

Wednesday, November 2

Karen towed the Avocet down and made it to the camp by 9:30am. Timmy returned from town with lumber for the out-buildings around 10:30. By that time, I had cut some of the large bamboo canes that had been brought out from Avery Island some time ago, and had them bundled and packed into the boat. Before I could leave, some neighbors stopped by, so I delayed to be sociable.

I left Timmy at the camp working on his deck and stairs to the large workshop/garage building and headed to the dredge site.

I took the canoe out in 16mph winds and tried to get measurements on LSU’s sediment markers, but it was just too difficult to fight the wind and measure at the same time. Some of the settling discs in Cell 3 (where we never go) were tilted too, so I gave up and went to the marsh instead to take pictures. The water level was at 5 inches below marsh level (-5 ML) so Cell 5 at +1 ML was well exposed and almost half of Cell 4 at -3 ML was exposed.  At this water level, it was obvious that we have a good bit of fill now in the finger inlets of Cell 5. Containment 5a had a 3 inch difference in height between the substrate on either side (Cell 5 to Cell 3), and the mud filled reeds were firm enough to walk on. I crossed and walked around the north end of Cell 5 to take pictures and admire the work we have done so far.

Figure 1. Containment 5a with a 2-3 inch difference in mud levels on either side (higher on the right in Cell 5).

Figure 1. Containment 5a with a 2-3 inch difference in mud levels on either side (higher on the right in Cell 5).

The mosquitoes were still quite active in any areas out of the wind, especially at the tree and reed lined levee, but I had coated my clothes with repellant and they didn’t bother me too much. Alligator tracks, raccoon and large bird tracks crisscrossed last week’s mud veneer, and roseate spoonbills were hunkered down not too far away in the outer pond.

Figure 2. View to the west across Cell 5, Cell 4 and the outer pond.

Figure 2. View to the west across Cell 5, Cell 4 and the outer pond.

Figure 3. View to the west across containment 5b between Cell 5 and Cell 4 with roseate spoonbills in the outer pond.

Figure 4. View to the eastsoutheast across Cell 5 showing mud veneer over mud cracks, fill into the finger inlet, the delta formed by denser material around the outfall, and animal tracks.

Figure 5. View to the southwest across Cell5 showing mud fill and coon tracks.

I crossed back over 5a which squashed the reeds further into the mud, and headed toward 5b which had been scattered by Tropical storm Lee. I did my best to pull the canes inside the posts and reset the posts that had been pushed over. This containment was firm enough to walk on as well, although it was questionable where the water flow obviously crossed under it. I decided I needed to add more to both of these before pumping again.

Figure 6. View to the west across Cell 4 from containment 5b showing mud fill and tracks of a small gator.

Figure 7. Containment 5b view to the south with Cell 5 to the left and Cell 4 to the right.

Figure 7. Containment 5b view to the south with Cell 5 to the left and Cell 4 to the right.

I managed to push, pull, pry and otherwise force the canoe back to the dock against the wind and loaded it with some of the bundles I had created months ago, plus some of the bamboo posts. The first bundle, I tried to carry on my shoulder, but when I got on the boardwalk, the wind hit me and almost threw me into the marsh. The next bundles I dragged down the boardwalk! I added one bundle to 5a, walked on it to smash it down, and then tied it between the posts. I took the other two bundles to 5b and added them where the walking was questionable, and went through the same procedure.

Then it was back through the wall of mosquitoes to the boat, and onto the dredge for an uneventful 2 hours of pumping. By the time I shut it down, it was 5:30. I went to shore and contemplated going out in the canoe, but knowing what a struggle it was at that water level, decided against it. I’ll look tomorrow.

This entry was posted in Dredge Reports, Marsh Restoration, The Paul J. Rainey Wildlife Sanctuary. Bookmark the permalink.