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Lower Mississippi River Dispatch No. 307

Oct 19, 2015

Deep in the Heart of Louisiana

Deep in the Heart of Louisiana 4' x 6' watercolor by Driftwood Johnnie

Starting Wed, Oct 21st, we’ll be paddling the last 255 miles of the Mississippi River in 2 voyageur canoes, down the main channel through New Orleans to the Gulf of Mexico, via Southeast Pass. (Most expeditions have been taking the South Pass, but following a tip from Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper Paul Orr, we’ll be trying a new route with more wildlife and less traffic.) The adventure includes Baton Rouge, Bayou Manchac, Plaquemine, Bayou Goula, White Castle, Donaldsonville, Paulina, Audubon Point, Algier's Point. Below the Moonwalk we'll take a 20-mile roundtrip detour for an insider's view through the heart of New Orleans via Industrial Canal (In between French Quarter, Bywater and the Lower 9th) with an inspection of the notorious MR. GO Canal (I think this is now closed after it almost allowed Katrina to wipe the Crescent City off the map). From New Orleans the adventure will continue around English Turn, through Bohemia, Pointe a la Hache, Port Sulphur, Venice, Pilot Town, Head of Passes (Mile -0- of the Mississippi River) and then down Pass a Loutre into Southeast Pass, with a return trip following some other route, possibly an open water crossing into South Pass.

Our expedition will be documenting and gathering details for the last installment to the RIVERGATOR: PADDLER’S GUIDE TO THE MIDDLE AND LOWER MISSISSIPPI RIVER. By the end of the year photos and complete descriptions will be added on to the website to completely describe the longest free-flowing river trail in the continental United States... no dams, no diversions, nothing but free-flowing magical muddy madness meandering from the Missouri River Confluence to the Gulf of Mexico, approximately 1180 miles + 159 for the Atchafalaya Route.

We hope you will enjoy this journey with us as much as we will enjoy sharing it with you. See below for complete itinerary. Every day for the next 2 weeks we’ll be posting photos and stories live from the expedition either here, or on Facebook, or on both. Sometimes Drfitwood Johnnie will be the author, sometimes Mark River... And an advance surprise treat: We have four "real" writers on board, Mary Ann Sternberg, Dean Klinkenberg, Christopher Staudinger and Donovan Hohn, so maybe other voices might chime in!

Middle/Lower Mississippi River 3' x 5' watercolor by Driftwood Johnnie

Baton Rouge - New Orleans - Gulf

Wed October 21 - Wed, Nov 4, 2015

2 weeks on the busiest and most dangerous stretch of the entire Mississippi River. Itinerary subject to change depending on river level and prevailing wind and weather patterns.

Itinerary Summary:

Wed Oct 21: Arrival in Baton Rouge; 9am Pre-trip Intro to the Chemical Corridor by Paul and Michael Orr.

On River by 12noon: Baton Rouge to Plaquemine Towhead (20 miles) Meet around 11am, and then put-in at 12 noon at Glass Beach below the I-10 Bridge.

Thurs Oct 22: Plaquemine Towhead to Goula Bayou Towhead (15 miles)

Fri Oct 23: Goula Bayou Towhead to Brigier Point (21 miles)

Sat Oct 24: Bringier Point to Magnolia Landing (21 miles)

Sun Oct 25: Magnolia Landing to Bonnet Carre (21 miles)

Mon Oct 26: Bonnet Carre to to Industrial Canal(23 miles)

Tues Oct 27: Mississippi River Network Annual Meeting (New Orleans)

Wed Oct 28: Mississippi River Network Annual Meeting (New Orleans)

Thurs Oct 29: Industrial Canal to Poverty Point (31 miles)

Fri Oct 30: Poverty Point to Bohemia (27 miles)

Sat Oct 31: Bohemia to Head of Passes (33 miles)

Sun Nov 1: Head of Passes to Gulf via Southeast Pass (12 miles)

Mon Nov 2: Camp on Gulf in Pass A Loutre Wildlife Management Area

Tues Nov 3: Southeast Pass to Venice (22 miles) Takeout at Cypress Cove Marina.


Low Water = 0 to 12 BG

Medium Water = 12 to 22 BG

High Water = 22 to 35 BG

Bank Full = 30 BG

Flood Stage = 35 BG and above


Low Water = 0 to 5 NO

Medium Water = 5 to 10 NO

High Water = 10 to 17 NO

Bank Full = 12 NO

Flood Stage = 17 NO

Levee Height = 20 NO

The River Connects Us All 2' x 4' watercolor by Driftwood Johnnie

The Lower Mississippi River Dispatch

is brought to you courtesy of

The Lower Mississippi River Foundation