Release Date: 06/29/2006

The Big Dam Weir at the Marsh Island Wildlife Refuge in Vermilion Bay has been reopened for public access just in time for the July 4 weekend.  The structure had been closed since last September due to Hurricane Rita damage.  The storm's surge destroyed the old wooden platform/walkway, thus making it unsafe for public use.

The new platform, built with FEMA funding at a cost of $49,400, was completed on Sunday, June 25.  The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and the state's Office of Facilities, Planning and Control were responsible for the construction.  The platform is made of fiberglass grating and still has the same 6-feet-wide by 120-feet-long dimensions as the original.

"This fiberglass grating will be safer because it's non-slip, cleaner because it's non-stick and will hold up better to the elements that it faces everyday on Louisiana's coast," said Dennis Kropog, LDWF's facilities maintenance manager.  "The platform has always been a popular destination for recreational fishermen and boaters because of the outstanding shrimp, crab and fish productivity."

The only way to access the Big Dam Weir is by boat.  The closest boat launch is located right outside of Cypremont Point State Park, off LA 319 in St. Mary Parish.

For more information, contact Dennis Kropog at 225-765-2816 or