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HomeNL-2012-01 Nezpique

Sunday on Bayou Nezpique in Louisana
Dec. 18th, 2012
by Christy Long

2.5 feet, USGS 08012000
Air temperature 55 degrees
Launched from Highway 97 (Evangeline Highway)
Photos Christy Long

  Map of Bayou Nezpique
Bayou Nezpique is close to Jennings, Louisiana, on I-10 (exit 65). From I-10 take Highway 97 North. The launch is about one mile from I-10. The gauge is sixty river miles to the north in Basile, LA.

I have driven over this bayou at least three times a year (some years, more often) for the last fifty-five years and when I started paddling I realized it would be an interesting adventure. Brent (my brother) bought a new kayak in September and he too, thought about paddling the Bayou Nezpique. We had each scouted the crossing on different occasions to see if the river was accessible, there would be legal parking, and if it would be reasonably safe. We agreed that the river was accessible from both sides, had decent parking, and our vehicles would be as safe as any parked on the side of the road.

Steve (my husband) and I were visiting my parents in Basile the weekend of December 17 and 18 and decided to take our kayaks on the chance we could work in a couple of hours of paddling.

After our visit, Steve and I met Brent at the launch site on Sunday morning. It was a still, cold, and sunny day, perfect paddling weather. Steve and I were bundled-up and Brent was in his usual attire of t-shirt and jeans. He did have a sweatshirt but did not wear it. Crazy guy.

We paddled upstream (north) for about an hour. Along the way, we saw a beehive, many small birds, and about eight duck blinds. The duck blinds might have had something to do with the complete absence of big birds. No egrets, herons, or ducks flying ahead of us as we have experienced on other rivers and bayous.

If you take this trip avoid the hunting season and wear bright clothing. All my relatives are Cajuns and I know they will eat anything.

Short Wikipedia summary of Bayou Nezpique:
"Bayou Nezpique (pronounced “neh-PEE-kay” translated to “tattooed nose bayou”) is a small river located in the Mermentau basin of south Louisiana. The bayou is 70 miles long and is navigable by small shallow-draft boats for 23 miles of lower course. Attakapas Indians inhabited this area at one time."





Christy sliding into Bayou

Nezpique for the first time


White honey comb

protruding from tree


Brent and Christy. The

shadow from the tree

is somewhat like the

river, straight and

curvy at the same time.

Christy in T-Canyon

Prijon Kayak (note

duck blind in tree)



Christy, Brent, Steve (bubble

trail shows where I slide into

place just befor the timer

clicks the picture)


Small bird feeding from

wisteria seed pod


Beauty in the bayou.

Duringa rainy season

the water level is above

the knees of the

cypress trees

Duck blind, this blind

was not camouflaged

like most of them



Guard chair,

it kept me away


Another pretty view. There

is a blind coved with moss

in the center of the

picture at the bank


Steve (in his new boat)

and I were bundled-up

View of the launch site

parking area. The parking

area had deer and fish

carcasses scattered around

 The author, Christy Long