Wildlife officials close rec. center at Sabine Wildlife Refuge

By Crystal Price - bio | email

CAMERON PARISH, LA (KPLC) - A recreation center at the Sabine National Wildlife Refuge has been closed after a vast amount of trash and dead fish were found along the bank by the Fish and Wildlife Services.

The wildlife refuge opened Hog Island Gully Recreation Area for the first time since Hurricane Ike just 20 days ago and now they are having to close the area to clean it up.

"The trash is so horrendous," said Diane Borden-Billot, the visitor services manager for the Southwest Louisiana Refuge Wildlife Complex. "There are dead fish laying all along the docks and the odor is just profuse."

Wildlife officials said this mess is unacceptable since the rules and regulations are posted throughout the area.

"When they're cast netting they're supposed to put all of their by-catch into a basket and then throw the extra fish into the canal," said Borden-Billot. "As for the trash it's what you bring in you take out."

Fishermen tell us this closure is leaving them at an inconvenience.

"I think it's sickening the way the shrimp have been running," said Roger George, a fishermen who has been fishing in the area for 30 years. "If people could just pick up their trash and put it in their baskets. It wouldn't have been closed."

Louisiana Fish and Wildlife Services will be cleaning up the area through the weekend and the department is hoping to make plans to re-open the area sometime in the coming weeks.

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