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That same week I visited Lafitte NHP I found a pond where I could wet a line and hopefully fool a few fish with a fly.  The pond was in Gretna City Park and fishing was slow to say the least. In fact here was my prize for the day – a man shouldn’t be ashamed at the size of his fish:

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This guy went for a wild ride as I was loading the rod for another cast – I had no idea he was on.  Mr. Microbass wasn’t really the story of the day though, the real story at Gretna City Park was the incredible amount of apple snails that were living in the pond.  This was my first experience with them, they were everywhere, along with their pink egg sacs.

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Apple snails are an invasive species that have been known to be carriers of rat lungworm and they’ve also been the culprit for decimated rice fields in many Asian nations.  Oh what a joy to have them here in the US!  It has been theorized that they made their way into our local waterways thanks in part to aquarium owners who wanted to share the wonders of the apple snail with all of us.

There is no natural predator in Louisiana so I implore you to become a natural predator of the apple snail.  If you see them, kill them, if you see their pink egg sacs, knock them in the water, they won’t survive when submersed.  If you handle them with your hands common sense dictates to wash your hands after.

I had to work on the “Best Bank” earlier this Fall and found myself with a little time to kill not too far away from the Jean Lafitte NHP.  I decided to check it out and get a bit of exercise walking some of the trails.  Jean Lafitte seems like one of those places that gets forgotten about alongside all the other attractions New Orleans has to offer, I know that I’ve driven past it a few times without even thinking twice about stopping.  I’m glad I finally gave it a go because I really enjoyed my walk in the swamp.  The park boasts an incredible amount of boardwalk that winds it’s way into the Northern  Barataria estuary – the swamp was beautiful and the critters were plentiful, but I couldn’t get over the fact that I walked a few miles on boardwalk, someone had to put all that together!

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