Lake Pontchartrain is a famous estuary in the United States where people can enjoy different outdoor activities and have fun with their family and friends. Anyone can swim around Lake Pontchartrain, practice various water sports, and visit the longest bridge ever built over the water in the entire world.
In this article, you will learn all the information you need to swim in the Lake Pontchartrain, avoid any accidents, and have the best experience possible during your trip.
Is it Safe to Swim in Lake Pontchartrain?
Yes, swimming in Lake Pontchartrain is safe since it currently has clean waters and almost no trace of pollution over the last few years.
This place is perfect for anyone who likes to have a good time in the water and wants to visit one of the best swimming spots in Louisiana.
However, you should not attempt to swim in Lake Pontchartrain during the hurricane season, especially if you do not have any swimming experience. During this time, the lake becomes dangerous for swimmers, and the water starts developing strong currents underneath.
If you want to avoid any problems during your trip and be 100% safe, you need to make sure to follow swimming rules from the American Red Cross and avoid traveling to Lake Pontchartrain when there are hurricanes nearby.
How Big is Lake Pontchartrain?
Lake Pontchartrain is the biggest lake in the Louisiana state, covering 630 square miles, having 12 to 14 feet in depth on average, and connecting to the east side of the Gulf of Mexico.
Because of its size and unique environment, it has a wide range of fish species, making it a perfect spot for anglers and fishers coming over the Louisiana state and all over the country.
Is There Any Pollution or Contamination in Lake Pontchartrain?
Yes, Lake Pontchartrain became polluted from 1970 to 1980 due to the agricultural runoff from farmers who threw their waste into the water during this time and the stormwater runoff coming from hurricanes like Katrina in the upcoming years.
However, after this period, Lake Pontchartrain managed to reduce the pollution significantly thanks to the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation (LPBF) and calms for applying different protocols to protect the people who want to swim in this place.
Because of their efforts, Lake Pontchartrain is now very clean and has many experts checking the water quality consistently to ensure everyone can swim in a safe environment.
When is the Best Time to Swim in Lake Pontchartrain?
The best time to swim in Lake Pontchartrain is between March and June. During this time, the temperature reaches 70 degrees on average, the weather is warm, and the conditions are great for swimming.
You can also visit Lake Pontchartrain any other Time of the year since the weather is very consistent, going from mild to warm temperatures throughout the whole year.
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The only exception is when the weather changes dramatically during a storm or hurricane since this phenomenon brings rain and floods toward lake Pontchartrain.
That is why you should always check the weather forecast before deciding to travel to this place and make sure there are no incoming storms or hurricanes at the time of your trip.
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Can You Practice Water Sports in Lake Pontchartrain?
Yes, you can practice different water sports in Lake Pontchartrain besides swimming and enjoy a better experience when it comes to outdoor activities in the estate of Louisiana.
If you want to practice water sports that are fun and exciting, you can go on kayak and paddleboard tours in different places around lake Pontchartrain.
However, if you want to relax and enjoy a more pleasant experience, you can go boating or fishing with your family or friends.
Boating in Lake Pontchartrain
Boating is great for people who want to explore the beautiful landscape of Lake Pontchartrain and get a closer look at this incredible environment.
You only need to rent a boat in one of the shops nearby, get the safety equipment required by the local authorities and decide how much time you want to spend boating around Lake Pontchartrain.
Fishing in Lake Pontchartrain
You can also fish in Lake Pontchartrain all year long and catch different species during your trip, including redfish, sheepshead, bass, black drum, speckled trout, and others.
Some of the popular fishing hotspots in Lake Pontchartrain are the Rigolets and Chef Passes, where you can find a lot of different species of fish, and the Twin Span Bridge, which is perfect for catching trout and redfish.
However, if you want to get the best results, you need to hire a fishing charter that will guide you to the best spots in Lake Pontchartrain and help you catch more fish, whether you are a beginner or not.
Kayaking and Paddle Boarding in Lake Pontchartrain
Lake Pontchartrain also offers kayak and paddleboard tours to everybody. You can watch the wildlife of this place and discover how to navigate the lake from start to finish to get the best experience possible.
There are also kayak and paddleboard rentals for anyone who wants to explore other areas around Lake Pontchartrain and have a unique adventure traveling in the water across multiple paths.
Are There Any Accidents or Casualties in Lake Pontchartrain?
Yes, there have been various accidents and casualties in Lake Pontchartrain over the past few years from people swimming in the lake or falling into the water by mistake.
Many of these accidents have resulted in people drowning after being careless while swimming or drinking too much before diving into the water.
Other accidents were caused after people crashed their vehicles on the causeway bridge, fell down the lake, and had problems getting back to shore.
This is why you always need to be careful when swimming in Lake Pontchartrain and make sure you don’t commit the same mistakes during your trip.
Are There Any Dangerous Animals in Lake Pontchartrain?
Yes, you need to be aware of a few dangerous animals swimming around Lake Pontchartrain, including different types of sharks and alligators.
You need to be careful when swimming in Lake Pontchartrain and avoid all the areas where these dangerous animals are usually spotted.
Alligators in Lake Pontchartrain
People have spotted alligators in Lake Pontchartrain over the last few years since they live nearby the wetlands and bayous of this place.
They usually become more active during the summer or when the spillway opens up, releasing water towards other lake areas.
However, these alligators rarely show up in Lake Pontchartrain, and there have been only a couple of registered attacks in the last decade.
Sharks in Lake Pontchartrain
Two shark species have been confirmed to live in lake Pontchartrain so far, including the bull shark, which is more common in these waters, and the great white shark, which was only seen twice before.
Because of this reason, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is trying to capture all the sharks in the Lake Pontchartrain and tag them with electronic transmitters that will reveal their location and show the areas people need to avoid.
If you want to swim in Lake Pontchartrain, you should avoid popular hotspots like Seabrook or Goose Point, which are known for having sharks swimming nearby.
Other Activities You Can Enjoy in Lake Pontchartrain
If you want to experience something new during your trip to Lake Pontchartrain, you can enjoy other activities besides swimming, like visiting Basi Maritime Museums of Louisiana or visiting the popular parks nearby like Fontainebleau State Park.
You can also walk or ride a bicycle on the Tammany Trace, an exclusive trail that covers 31 miles where anyone can travel towards multiple entertainment hotspots and appreciate the beautiful landscape of Lake Pontchartrain.