Lake Martin: Boaters can now Rejoice as Public Access Granted
An agreement between landowners at Lake Martin and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries once again allows public access to the boat launch at the lake.
According to this story in the Acadiana Advocate, the agreement allows public access to the lake via the boat launch, but limits access to the lakeshore on the peninsula near the boat launch.
According to the map on the Advocate's website, the majority of the property that abuts Lake Martin is privately owned by multiple landowners and, prior to the agreement, the only public access to the lake was via kayak/canoe slip at the end of Rookery Road. This agreement will now allow for the launching of approved boats at the boat launch but does not allow for fishing/picnicking on the strip of land that runs along the sides of the boat launch.
As part of the legal agreement, the Lake Martin boat landing will be named for the original landowners, Rene and Eliza Chauffe. - The Advocate
The initial issue with public access to the lake was liability: neither party wanted to take it. The state's attorney general commended the agreement, while one non-profit group that advocates for public use of Lake Martin is not satisfied. It is their belief that the agreement does little for public use since the land along the sides of the boat launch is still off-limits.
Advocates for public use say that the only thing this agreement does for the public is allow those with boats access to the lake; fishing from the bank is still not possible, due to the fact that most of that property is privately held.
For those who are wondering what the big deal is with Lake Martin, it is truly a jewel: massive cypress trees, hanging moss, migratory birds, alligators, turtles, fish, and all the natural beauty Louisiana can provide.
From kayakers and anglers to hunters and nature lovers, Lake Martin certainly is worth a visit.
As you can tell from the photo above, T'Boy is right at home on Lake Martin, as long as the 'gators don't get too close. A sunrise or sunset paddle allows one to really take in the serenity of the lake.
Alligators, turtles, and snakes are plentiful at Lake Martin and will (usually) bother you only as much as you bother them.
Now that the agreement is settled, it will be easier for boaters to access Lake Martin. If you decide to go out there, remember to respect other boaters and take out more than you brought in.
It's fairly easy to get to Lake Martin: from Lafayette, take the Breaux Bridge Highway to Lake Martin Road. Once you cross the Vermilion River on Lake Martin Road (LA 353), travel 3.5 miles and then look for the entrance to Lake Martin on the left.
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