Flood closes Bogue Chitto

Published 6:59 am Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Both the Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge and Pearl River Wildlife Management Area shut down Tuesday due to rising water levels in the Pearl River.

The Bogue Chitto NWR shuts down camping and hunting when the river reaches 15.5 feet and the Pearl River WMA shuts down hunting when the river reaches 16.5 feet.

At 3 p.m. on Tuesday, the Pearl River was at 16.4 feet and was forecasted to reach 16.7 feet by midnight.

Danny Breaux, refuge manager for U.S. Wildlife and Fisheries, said it is standard procedure to shutdown the refuge when Pearl River reaches 15.5 feet.

Christian Winslow, biologist supervisor with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, said it is standard protocol to shut down the river once it reaches 16.5 feet as part of federal regulations.

Winslow said the closing of the Pearl River WMA is for the “safety of users and to minimize disturbance to the wildlife.”

Old U.S. Hwy. 11 will also be closed when the river stage reaches 16.5 feet, said a press release from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

Pearl River WMA and Old Highway 11 will remain closed until the water recedes and all roads and bridges are determined safe for passage.

Winslow said the length of time the WMA will be closed during this and future closings will depend on how much rain the Pearl River Basin receives.