It’s been 20+ years now, but I’ll never forget my telephone interview with several people on the campus of the University of Louisiana Monroe, at that time Northeast Louisiana University. Like a good job candidate, I had done some online research and viewed a number of photographs of the campus.
So when they invited me to ask them questions, I had one ready. “Are there any fish in the river that runs through campus?” I asked.
They laughed. And then, in unison, they said, “That’s not a river. That’s a bayou.”
Black Bayou Lake was formed when the railroad tracks at the west end of the lake prevented what was already a wetland from draining back into Bayou Desiard. It is one of my favorite places to go when my heart and mind and spirit need #rest.
Taking a cue from St. Francis of Assisi, the bayou is my sister, the cypress trees my brothers and all the creatures my extended family. Laudato si’!
I am fairly certain that the railroad had nothing to do with black bayou formation. Rather, the damming of Bayou DeSiard as Monroe’s water supply with the levee project after the 32 flood caused the lake basin to fill permanently.
Arthur, I know the lake was for the purpose of Monroe water supply, but I heard that it is, in fact, the railroad track that dams Bayou Desiard. But I might have misunderstood, and I don’t know which purpose–creating a lake or a train right away–dominated the plan, or if they were equally important all along. Thanks for commenting. Next time I see Kelby Ouchley, I’ll ask. I’m guessing he’ll know.