Opening Weekend Successful for New Fishing Pier
The St. Tammany Parish fishing Pier, located at 54001 E. Howze Beach Road in Slidell, officially opened at 11:00 AM on Friday, May 18, after a short ceremony. Over 500 visitors were recorded on Friday. The first official fishermen on the pier following the opening ceremony were Mr. Dan O’Sullivan’s class from Northshore High School. The first fish caught by Mr. O’Sullivan’s class was a catfish caught by student Remy Funches. Remy’s catfish will be mounted and permanently displayed on site at the Fishing Pier.
On Saturday, 607 visitors were recorded at the pier, and 691 visited on Sunday. The fishing remained good, as nice speckled trout, flounder, croaker and sheephead were all caught. One lucky angler reeled in a 59 pound drum as well.
Pictures of the fist fish caught, the opening ceremony, and fishing on the pier are all posted on www.stpgov.org/gofishing, as well as on the Facebook page for St. Tammany Parish. If citizens wish to have their fish pictures posted, please email images to email@example.com.
The Grand Opening Celebration and 1st Annual Fishing Pier Rodeo will take place on Saturday, June 2nd. Rodeo fishing will begin at 5:00 AM, and the weigh station will close at 2:00 PM. There will be kids’ events, St. Tammany artists, Wildlife and Fisheries, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, St. Tammany Commission on Cultural Affairs and other organizations at the Grand Opening Celebration. Funding for the rodeo was provided by a grant from the Louisiana Tourism Coastal Coalition. For more information, or to register for the Fishing Rodeo, please visit www.stpgov.org/gofishing, or call (985) 649-3037.
The St. Tammany Fishing Pier was built from sections of the original I-10 Twin Span Bridges which were destroyed in Hurricane Katrina. The following text appears on a Louisiana Historical Marker on the site:
The original I-10 twin span bridges across Lake Pontchartrain opened on December 21, 1965. These bridges were used by citizens until the morning of August 29, 2005, when Hurricane Katrina struck Southeast Louisiana. One of the most iconic images from Hurricane Katrina is the aerial photo of the devastated twin spans connecting New Orleans to Slidell. Shortly after the storm, an idea formed among members of the administration of St. Tammany Parish Government to turn former sections of the bridges into a fishing pier for public use. After much planning and cooperation with the LA DOTD, St. Tammany Parish acquired the two sections of roadway and transformed them into what exists today. This pier now brings over 4,600 feet of Lake Pontchartrain fishing to an entire group of people who might otherwise not have the opportunity. The St. Tammany Fishing Pier represents healing not only to the people of St. Tammany, but to the people of Southeast Louisiana. Using reclaimed roadway has turned what was once a negative into a positive project which will be enjoyed by families for generations.