I've seen dolphins around the Lake Area, but never really heard of Manatees making a visit to Lake Charles. When my aunt and uncle lived in Florida, we would go see them near a spring and watch them float around. They're big beautiful animals, and when I get in the water, I identify as one.

Are Manatees really in our area? The short answer is, yes. According to LASEAGRANT.org, due to the slow loss of their habitats in Florida, the West Indian manatee is beginning to migrate west to Louisiana. In 2020, pods of them were reported being spotted at the Amite River near Lake Maurepas, the Diversion Canal, and some boat launches in Ascension Parish.

Dusty Coleman
Dusty Coleman

I have heard a few tall tales of them being found in the Calcasieu River, in fact, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries have begun to announce manatee watches during the late Fall and Spring over the last few years. I always found that strange but shrugged it off. It seems we now have proof, sad proof, that they are in our area.

Facebook user Dusty Coleman ran across a dead manatee back on the 16th of February and shared the video of it. It's a bit disturbing to watch, and it seems like it has been dead for quite a while as it floats up against the shore.

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