Release Date: 12/08/2006

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Inland Fisheries Division is restocking lagoons at City Park in New Orleans and LaFreniere Park in Jefferson Parish today as part of the department's Operation Jumpstart program.

Operation Jumpstart began this past spring as LDWF staff targeted areas affected by hurricanes Katrina and Rita as the highest priority in the department's annual fish stocking program.  Katrina created massive fish kills in the southeastern part of the state by raising salinity levels and churning up decaying vegetation that deprived many water bodies of oxygen.

The City Park and LaFreniere Park lagoons will receive Florida largemouth bass, bluegill and redear sunfish from LDWF's Monroe fish hatchery to help re-establish the fish populations.

"This stocking is part of a continuing effort to restore water bodies affected by the hurricanes to their previous state," said Inland Fisheries Biologist Program Manager Joey Shepard. 

LDWF biologists have been assessing the impacted areas in the southern part of the state to ensure that the water bodies can sustain a fish population.  They look at salinity levels, water quality and the food source to help decide if a water body is ready for a fish stocking.

"We have not overlooked any area, but some areas received less damage and recover quicker than others," Shepard said.  "We don't want to stock fish in an area where they have little to no chance of survival at this time when we have other areas that are ready and in need."

For more information, contact Joey Shepard at 225-765-2343 or Howard Rogillio at 985-882-5228.