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Lake restoration in Morehouse parish

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BASTROP La. (KNOE 8 News) - A lake in Morehouse Parish that's been widely used in the past for industry and recreation isn't getting any use, but that's just for now.    

Bussey Brake is going dry, so it can get a new life as a "wet" destination for boaters and fishermen.

A dry patch of land, in the middle of a 2,200 acre lake is the new place for birds to bathe and play.

It's at Bussey Brake, a manmade lake that was owned by international paper for the company's water supply.

But when the paper company in Bastrop closed, the lake was donated to Wildlife and Fisheries.

Inland Biology Manager of Wildlife and Fisheries said the lake needs some work to be a true sportsman's paradise.

"When we've completed our project people will experience a new lake here in Morehouse Parish," said Daniel.

Wildlife and Fisheries will be restoring the lake. But why? One reason: tree stumps.

"They were a problem because they were unmarked. No one knew where they could travel safely and boats did hit them quite frequently," said Daniel.

Another headache?

"There were a lot of undesirable fish in the lake and then we want to remove them and stock it back with sport fish," said Daniel.

The first step in the restoration project is draining the lake, and it started three weeks ago.

"Right now the lake is draining through a controlled structure on the south end of the lake and it drains into bayou Bartholomew," said Daniel.

Which leads to the Ouachita Parish River. The next step?

"We'll we will be cutting down some of the stumps and putting up boat lane markers for boats to travel around easily through the lake," said Daniel.

Daniel said that will take place next summer. He also said they will be putting in new fishing piers, and a boat launch dock.

Wildlife and Fisheries said the lake has drained six feet so far , and the whole project will take a minimum of three years.

Until then, boaters and fishermen will need to find another hot spot.

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