Destination: Grand Isle State Park
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|Tue, 01-06-2004 - 12:18am|
Since the days of Jean and Pierre Lafitte, who carried on their notorious smuggling business in these waters, Grand Isle has been on the route of commerce and industry. French exploration of the islands and subsequent settlement of sugar plantations occurred in the 1730's. Just before the Civil War, Fort Livingston was constructed across the Barataria Pass from Grand Isle State Park. It was part of a United States defense system begun by President James Monroe and protected the Barataria approach to New Orleans.
Today most business activity consists of shrimpers and other fishing boats carrying their cargo to New Orleans and markets throughout the area. And ever present are the offshore oil rigs dotting the horizon, busily extracting energy sources from below the Gulf, and incidentally providing superb fishing spots around their supporting structures.
A Fisherman's Paradise
Over 280 species of fish are known to make their home in the waters off the coast of Grand Isle. Brown pelicans--the state bird of Louisiana--dive into the water. Seagulls appear to float on the wind above the shore. Crabs nimbly scamper out of reach of the children chasing them with their nets.
This is Grand Isle State Park--a natural haven on the most popular barrier island off the coast of Louisiana. A beach ridge created by the action of the waves of the Gulf, Grand Isle serves as a breakwater between the Gulf and the network of inland channels that connect to the bayou tributaries of the Mississippi River. It is also the launching point for excellent deep-sea fishing adventures.
Every July, a Tarpon Rodeo attracts thousands of fishing competitors to these prolific waters offshore. Speckled trout can be caught by surf fishers year round, especially in the spring and summer. Redfish venture into the range of the surf fishermen in the fall and winter. Grand Isle State Park's 400-foot fishing pier is one of the highlights of the park, giving access to the waters of the surf fishermen without ever getting wet!
Recreation for the Whole Family