Event: Paddle Bayou La Batre
Date: October 18, 2014
Distance: 6 miles
Registration Info : www.paddlebayoulabatre.org/
Event organizers say, "Paddlers will have an up-close and personal experience of being on a true working bayou, lined with shipyards, shrimp boats, oyster skiffs and scenic natural vistas."
I encourage everyone to join this paddle event to experience the scenic views along Bayou La Batre which is just a short distance away from Mobile, Alabama. The colorful shrimp boats reflecting off the calm waters are a beautiful site to behold. You'll get to see a wide variety of birds along the shorelines and the mile long shoreline trash pile that Bayou La Batre is worldly famous for. Bayou La Batre is the Seafood Capital of Alabama where much of your seafood is processed. After you paddle this event you may start looking at food labels to make sure your seafood is NOT processed in Bayou La Batre.
Eight Mile Creek is one of Mobile County's hidden nature jewels. Lots of wildlife to observe along the isolated creek if you don't mind paddling through a garbage chute. But, that is typical of all of Mobile County's waterways.
I was a bit surprised to see some positive changes at William Brooks Park aka Tucker Launch. The once unusable shoreline is now an inviting kayak launch because of the sandy shoreline. There is a pretty big web of boardwalk trails that take visitors over the swampy wetlands out to Chickasabogue Creek to fish, bird watch, or sight see.
The Ron Jones Paddle Trail is named after the Chickasabogue Parks and Wildlife Manager who died in 2006.
The Chickasabogue Paddle Trail was one of Ron's visions and priorities before he died. It is a nice kayak launch.
The folks at Chickasabogue Creek are lucky to have Clifford, aka Wolf Dog paddling up and down the creek.
The volunteer canoeist spends his days removing the shoreline litter. I'm glad Clifford is still doing his thing.
This is an example of how to remove litter from in and along a trash impaired waterway without need of an expensive boat or litter trap. Waterway trash removal needs to be a full time job for one person per watershed.
Since the Alabama Department of Transportation won't remove trash from the ditches along their state highways, they should employ people like Clifford to remove trash from the waterways where their roadside trash ends up.
Winds were supposed to be calm at Dauphin Island and the forecast held true. An absolutely beautiful day to enjoy the almost empty beaches before the onslaught of Labor Day Weekend beach activity. I always enjoy the bird watching opportunities at Dauphin Island.
Click on any image above for a larger view with commentary.
Alligatorweed Flea Beetle (Agasicles hygrophila), native to Brazil, was released in California and all southeastern coastal states in 1964 to control the spread of the exotic invasive plant Alternanthera philoxeroides which many kayakers know as Alligatorweed.
The Alligatorweed Flea Beetle has enlarged upper leg sections on their hind legs which allow them to jump a long distance if disturbed, hence the common name, "Flea Beetle." Kayaking into a thicket of alligatorweed when the beetles are active will result in beetles jumping everywhere, including onto your clothing and kayak. Not to worry, the beetles do not bite.
Alligator Flea Beetle eggs are laid on the bottom of alligatorweed leaves so larvae will have abundant food when they hatch. Mature larvae burrow into and pupate in the hollow stems of the alligatorweed plant and emerge as adults through the holes in the stems.
Above: Short video of an Apple Snail laying eggs. The eggs are flowing up.
Below: View of how dense the Apple Snail eggs are in Three Mile Creek.