It's no secret that the water levels in the Atchafalaya Basin are really low and some have been out exploring areas that they've never been to before.

We've shared a number of photos in recent weeks from the basin and there are areas that are dried up that have not been in years.

Some with more experience than me in the swamp life say that the low waters are intentional, yet we can't ignore the fact that we are currently in a drought in south Louisiana.

So, what is really out there in the basin that we have yet to see or discover?

Well, I recently came across a post on social media that suggested people should take advantage of the low water levels in the basin and explore the lost community of "Bayou Chene".

Apparently, Bayou Chene was settled in the 1830s and was located in St. Martin Parish, yet was still in the Atchafalaya Basin.

The unincorporated community had a church, a school, a merchandise store, and a post office, all of which were located on the bayou.

Many who settled in Bayou Chene were swampers, trappers, farmers, fishermen, and moss pickers.

Charles Jenkins
Charles Jenkins

Being on the water, this small community survived many floods, but in 1927 the Great Mississippi Flood pretty much destroyed the small community.

To this date, many say that much of this community lies 12 feet under silt, which has never been explored.

Could low water levels today allow for exploration of where Bayou Chene once was?

Wikipedia reports that "Construction of the Atchafalaya Spillway levees and dredging of river channels caused repeated flooding of the community" and by the mid-1950s most left the abandoned community.

So, there are still parts of the community out there in the basin, but it's way below ground. It will be interesting to see if any parts of the community show up as water levels continue to recede in the Atchafalaya Basin.


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