NEW ROADS (WBRZ)  - A council created by the state legislature is working to restore fishing in False River.

Today the False River Watershed Council (FRWC) held an open house in New Roads to discuss progress to create fish habitats and plans to reduce silt in the oxbow lake.

An abundance of silt in the lake has wrecked havoc on the number of trophy fish in the lake. Major Morel grew up fishing on False River and says it used to be a great fishing lake.

"It would be nothing for a boat to come in with nothing but a boatload of fish. It was unbelievable," he said.

Rep. Major Thibaut, D-New Roads, along with Sen. Rick Ward, R-Port Allen, secured $1.5 million over the last two years to fund work to restore False River. FRWC has created gravel-based spawning beds for fish and completed multiple canal and fish studies.

"When I was young you didn't have to know a thing about fishing or what you were doing, and you could go out there and catch fish," said Thibault. "We want to keep the experiences we had as children and that our grandparents had as children alive here, and it's just important economically and on all facets to this area."

Experts are leaning toward creating a 16-acre containment area on the south flat of False River where they would pump silt in Fall 2014. They expect to receive another $1.2 million from the state to work on the north flat next year.

"I think they have a game plan and have some stages set. I know it's going to take some time and take some money, but I'm glad to see they're moving with trying to restore the lake," said local fisherman Sam Pernici.

Local businesses say more fishing on False River means an economic boom for New Roads.

"I think the whole town would see a big difference. I think hotels would stay booked. Restaurants would have people coming in and out of it. It's just another attraction for New Roads, another reason for New Roads," said Morel.

Image: WBRZ