Whatever floats your kayak

By Paige Nash

Executive Director of the Webster Parish Convention and Visitor Commission (WPCVC) Serena Gray along with EZ Dock representatives and a group of volunteers from the Bayou Chapter of the Ozarks Society gathered on the banks of Bayou Dorcheat to assemble and launch the first of many kayak docks coming to the parish. 

The first one can now be found at the Dixie Inn boat launch.  

This is something we have been wanting to do for some time,” said Gray. “We have saved money over the years to purchase these and today it’s happening. 

This project has been in the works for many years after numerous meetings between the WPCVC, EZ Docks representative Jeremy Lewis and the Webster Parish Police Jury.  

“When we have our large events, twice a year, we imagine the people who need more assistance getting on the water would utilize the launch,” said Gray.  

This new dock includes a walkway and a kayak launch that will allow for easier access to the water. They also have tie offs that can be utilized by anglers as they are launching their boats into the water. The docks are designed to withstand hurricane force winds and rise and fall on their own according to the always fluctuating water levels on the bayou.  

The next dock will be installed also along Bayou Dorcheat, but at the Sibley boat launch. Later, the WPCVC will be looking at sites in the northern portion of the parish. Each dock will be unique to the location and many accessories are available that include handrails, benches, lights and more that can be added at a later date.  

The funding for the kayak launches has been set aside by the WPCVC each year in dedication to this project. 

They held an introduction to kayaking course on Lake Caney on Sunday, April 30. H2GO provided certified kayak instructors to speak to attendees on technique and safety.  

The WPCVC is also preparing for their yearly “Spring Paddle ” event to be held at the Lake Bistineau State Park on Saturday, May 6. Check in begins at 8 a.m., safety instructions will follow at 8:30 and kayaks will be launching at 9. Live entertainment will be provided by Michael Brown and food catered by Hugh Woods. Bayou Dorcheat rental has kayaks available for rent- first come, first serve. 

“We have big plans for outdoor recreation in Webster Parish,” said Gray. “It’s who we are and what we have to offer. The good news is people love it. People are always looking for more ways to get outdoors and we just want to give them an option to do that in North Louisiana.” 

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