When we moved here in mid 2002, I saw little life in The Bayou Teche, not even minnows in the shadows. I didn't know much about it at that time, and shortly thereafter came Hurricane Lili. Hurricanes here tend to flush local waterways with oxygen poor water due to the leaf fall and turnover, resulting in fish kills. I saw many dead fish floating down The Bayou Teche that fall. There was no evident life the next year, but slowly year after year, the Bayou Teche came back to life. It does seem this bayou has everything going against it, everything from urban runoff, to cane field runoff turbidity and the chemicals that go with it.
Life was starting to return, and the The Bayou Teche was looking to look like a natural waterway again. Then came the hurricanes Katrina and Rita of 2005. Another setback. Still by 2008 things were looking up. I even caught a few Catfish while fishing. Mullet were jumping, and there a few minnows here and there. But again, came the hurricanes later that year, Gustav and Ike, both of which impacted the water shed within a few weeks of each other. More dead fish floated down the bayou. Signs of aquatic life were slim.
This year, the spring of 2010, I again have hopes. It was an extremely wet winter. This is the first time I have even seen the bayou rise significantly from rain fall. But I am sure the flushing effect helped. Aquatic grasses are gowing along the edge of the channel this spring. Mullet are jumping. I saw what was likely a small Bass striking in the grass, and Mullet jumping in the channel. No minnows yet, but I have hopes. The Bayou Teche needs a break, and with a little luck, nature may just give it one this year.