On Oct. 24, the TECHE Project joined conservation partners Bayou Vermilion Preservation Association, the Soil and Water Conservation Districts, HDR Foundation and the Acadiana Native Plant Project to conduct a Bank-line Restoration Workshop. Attendees learned about different techniques to restore the bayou bank to benefit water quality, reduce erosion and improve fish and wildlife habitat. The native plants (iris, swamp mallow, cypress, etc.) added to the bank at our Breaux Bridge Trailhead will be a pleasing sight for all to enjoy. Our thanks go out to everyone who helped with this project!
The beautiful wood duck is a common and enjoyable sight along Louisiana’s bayous, however, they weren’t always so common. Only a few decades ago, wood duck numbers were down due to a lack of nesting habitat. Artificial nesting boxes have enabled the wood duck to become commonplace and have ensured their viability for all to enjoy. The best part of this success story is that anyone can help continue the wood duck’s legacy. It’s really not that hard to raise wood ducks yourself. All you need is water, brood cover and a proper nesting box. If you’d like to learn about how you can raise wood ducks and help ensure that the wood duck population stays commonplace in Louisiana’s waterways, come join The TECHE Project at their annual Wood Duck Management Workshop.
This year’s workshop will take place at the Shadows-on-the-Teche Visitor Center (across the street from the plantation home) in New Iberia from 9:30 a.m.-noon on Saturday, January 18. The workshop is held just in time to get your wood duck nest boxes installed for the spring nesting season, and the New Iberia location is optimal as there is ample habitat in the area for wood duck nesting. The workshop will start with a general ecology discussion of wood ducks by Patti Holland, TECHE Project council member and retired biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Council Member Brent Miller and his daughter Adeline will discuss their firsthand experience and guidance from many years of rearing wood ducks on the banks of Bayou Teche. Also, TECHE Project Wood Duck Program participant Scott Albarado will share his technical knowledge on how to set up cameras that film wood duck nesting inside the box and the chicks fledging on jump day.
Wood duck boxes will be available for purchase at the workshop. Those who live on Bayou Teche can join our group of more than 50 participants from mile 1 to mile 132 that are doing their part to raise wood duck numbers on Bayou Teche. Last year alone, we reared more than 350 wood duck chicks on the bayou! Participants in our Bayou Teche Wood Duck Program also get a free Bayou Teche Paddle Trail Sign for their wood duck box displaying the mileage of their spot on the bayou. According to Holland, “This workshop is a great opportunity for those living near Bayou Teche to be part of the ecological improvement of the watershed, while at the same time enjoying the fruits of their labor as they watch young birds emerge from their boxes.”
Bayou Teche property owners are the target audience, but anyone who is interested in raising wood ducks will benefit from this workshop. Attendance is free for TECHE Project members and $5 for others. Those who would like to help support The TECHE Project and all of the great things happening on the bayou can also choose to apply the admission fee to the purchase of a TECHE Project membership and become part of the Bayou Teche Renaissance. Together, we are doing great things on the bayou!