Boats banned from long moorings on Bayou Saint John

From “Dubbed mosquito breeders, snake magnets and hazards for kids, canoes, kayaks and other types of boats can no longer be moored along the banks of Bayou St. John for more than a day.

The City Council unanimously passed a law Thursday (Sept. 4) giving the city the power to impound abandoned boats and fine the owners.

Under the new law, the mosquito control board will sticker offending boats, which then will be hauled away after two days. Owners will be fined $150, then $10 a day up to $250 per boat in the impound lot. If no one claims the craft in five months, it can be sold.

Residents have long complained that the abandoned boats fill with rainwater, attracting mosquitoes and vermin. And their frustration helps spotlight confusion over which government agency controls the bayou. It’s technically state property, although the city and the Orleans Levee District have some jurisdiction. The levee district previously has tried to put boat owners on notice not to leave the crafts for long periods.

Councilwoman Susan Guidry, who drafted the new enforcement rules, said the city has policing powers for the bayou’s banks and that the new law gives it the structure to use them.”

NOTE: I have tried to pull the three barrel-crafts that were left in the bayou after the July 4th boat parade to the shore. I succeeded in pulling one to the grass; it is now in the reeds near the Dumaine bridge on the east side of the bayou. There is a loose floating boat-barrel craft near the City Park/Carrollton/Moss intersection, and another one down across from the Eye Center for Dogs on the west side of the bayou. I had planned to try and pull these out of the water and take them to my house for garbage pickup, but the one I did get out of the water is too cumbersome for me to drag back to my house, and the other two elude my reach. I am now planning on leaving these three trash-craft-barrel contraptions in the bayou and encouraging the city enforcement folks to pick them up. HOWEVER, if anyone is feeling adventurous and helpful, we could canoe out to get the trash-crafts and tow them to the banks, and load them in someone’s truck to take to a house for pick up by the garbage men?
Email me if you want to help:

Jessica McGregor Carroll

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