New reef under construction in Big Lake

New reef in Calcasieu Lake

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - Calcasieu Lake, or Big Lake, will soon be home to a new man made concrete reef. You've probably driven on this concrete before, .but now fish will live in it.

The new reef will soon become a habitat for Speckled Trout and Redfish in Big Lake. The Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) decided to place a man made reef in the middle of the lake.

"It provides a lot of services. It's a great project here," said John Walther, CCA Louisiana Habitat Chairman. "Started in the local CCA chapter in Lake Charles, and we're very proud of our members and their efforts and their involvement in their communities."

Thursday, Brad Vincent's family caught a glimpse of the reef's construction for the first time. Vincent passed away two years ago but loved fishing in big lake. The reef is named in his honor by the CCA.

"It's a special day for a special man," said his daughter Heidi Vincent Farnum. "He'd be super thrilled to hear that this reef was named after him. He was a real quiet humble man, so he's probably looking down smiling for sure."

The reef can be accessed by several different boat launches and is situated right in the heart of the lake. It's made of ten thousand tons of concrete recycled from I-210. When finished, hopefully next week, the reef will span five to seven acres in size.

"You'll have a place to bring your kids and fish," said Lake Charles CCA chapter President Raymond Little. "Habitat will come to the reef. Your small fish, oysters, trout, sheephead, red drum. It's another place for fish to go and increase the carrying capacity of the lake."

Also in attendance Thursday, brad's brother Rusty, also a CCA member.

"I know that he would be super super happy because he loved to go out there and fish the reefs and he was always looking for a reef to fish in Calcasieu lake, to catch speckled trout and redfish," said Rusty.

His family left yellow roses along the reef's construction site. They all say he would be very proud.

"All I could think about was my brother and how much that he used to fish," said Rusty.
And he used to fish many many years. And salt water fishing was one of his favorite things to do and just watching that, knowing that it was named in his honor and also what the reef does for our estuary, being able to just rebuild our habitat. It was a great moment for me."

This man made reef isn't the only one in Big Lake. The other reef is Turner's Island Reef near Turner's Bay.

The CCA hopes there are many more reef constructions in their future.

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