SISTER LAKE CAMP DESTROYED BY FIRE

Release Date: 03/12/2007

The Sister Lake camp, which served as a research station and enforcement outpost for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) for nearly 60 years, was destroyed by fire on March 4, 2007.


The camp sat on a small island leased from ConocoPhillips and was surrounded by Caillou Lake (commonly referred to as Sister Lake) in Terrebonne Parish.  It was only accessible by a 25-minute boat ride from the nearest landing in Bayou Dularge.


The fire is believed to have started sometime after 8 a.m.  At 10 a.m., volunteer firefighters from Bayou Dularge arrived on the scene to find the camp already consumed by the fire.  The cause of the fire is still under investigation and no one was injured.  An adjoining boathouse, dock and water tank were not affected by the fire.


The Sister Lake camp was built in 1947 to replace an old trapper's camp that was also destroyed by fire in 1946.  The camp was used primarily to monitor the states premier Public Oyster Seed Reservation in Sister Lake.  Through the years the camp was also used by LDWF Marine Fisheries staff as a shrimp tagging station, for finfish research and as a crew-staging site for oyster lease surveys among other projects.  Additionally, the camp served as a refuge for LDWF personnel working in the area.


"The facility served the department well and will be missed as we try to compensate for the usefulness, versatility and convenience of the Sister Lake camp," said Marty Bourgeois, marine biologist with LDWF.  "Sister Lake provided overnight accommodations for personnel working for long periods in the field and served as a shelter for those in the area seeking shelter from passing storms."


Bourgeois said the facility had not been staffed full-time since the 1980s, but was used for project work by biologists, survey teams and enforcement agents in the area. The camp had survived some of the strongest hurricanes in U.S. history and received only minor damage from Hurricanes Rita and Katrina from 2005.


A decision has not been made on whether or not to rebuild the camp on the Sister Lake site. 


For more information, contact Steve Hein at 985-594-4130 or shein@wlf.louisiana.gov.  
2007-079