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May 12, 2008

Louisiana Lake Trout

Any cast might produce the next state-record speck on a rejuvenated Lake Pontchartrain

A Bridge Not Too Far
With few natural reefs remaining in Lake Pontchartrain, the best fishing typically occurs near several bridges including:
 
The Causeway - The parallel Causeway stretches 24 miles across the widest part of Lake Pontchartrain. The first span opened in 1956, followed by the second in 1969. The spans suffered limited damage from Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
 
Interstate 10 - Opened in 1965, the 5.5-mile-long "Twin Bridges" across the eastern section of Lake Pontchartrain suffered severe damage from Hurricane Katrina. In July 2006, construction began on the first of two new spans.
 
U.S Highway 11 - Officially 4.78 miles long, the "Five-Mile" Bridge opened in 1928 as one of the longest bridges in the world at the time. Although officially called the Maestri Bridge after a former New Orleans mayor, many old-timers still call it the "Masonry" Bridge since builders mixed mortar with lake water to construct it on the spot. Renamed the Watson-Williams Pontchartrain Bridge, it escaped damage from Hurricane Katrina.
 
Seabrook - Although it doesn't actually span the lake, the Seabrook Bridge (officially the Senator Ted Hickey Bridge) crosses the Inter Harbor Navigation Canal, or Industrial Canal, where it enters Lake Pontchartrain near New Orleans Lakefront Airport.
 
Others - A railroad trestle dating to 1884 spans Lake Pontchartrain near Highway 11. Another railroad track crosses both the Chef Menteur and the Rigolets passes. U.S. Highway 90, dating to 1930, also crosses the passes. A new Rigolets bridge opened in January 2008 near Fort Pike, but the old bridge remains across the Chef.