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Mosquito Board and NOPD cite and remove abandoned canoes along Bayou St. John

Kayaks under the Magnolia Bridge on Bayou St. John. (photo by Alicia Serrano,
Kayaks under the Magnolia Bridge on Bayou St. John. (photo by Alicia Serrano,

Abandoned canoes along Bayou St. John — some visibly infested with algae and mosquitoes — have been cited for removal by city officials this summer under a new ordinance, New Orleans police officials said.

Captain James Scott of the NOPD, who works with the Fairgrounds Patrol, said that the New Orleans Mosquito, Rodent and Termite Control cited eight abandoned canoes along the bayou in June.

Last year an ordinance was passed by City Council that prohibits canoes from being docked for more 24 hours, and ruled that the Mosquito Control Board can place stickers or summons on the side of the canoes.

According to Scott, Dr. Claudia Reigel was responsible for issuing the summons last month after Bayou Bugaloo occurred.

“She went out and she took on the responsibility of issuing the summons. So she went out there about three weeks ago and they wrote eight canoes,” Scott said.

According to Scott, if the owner does not remove the canoe within 48 hours, they are removed by NOPD.

“It’s 48 hours from the minute the sticker is on there and then we go pick them up after,” Scott said.

Council woman Susan Guidry said in a previous Mid-City Messenger article that the ordinance is to protect neighbors from boats and canoes from becoming health threats such as mosquitoes.

According to Scott, half of the canoes that were cited contained mosquitoes.

“There were actually four of them that were there for a tremendously long time had just streamers of algae and stuff on it and it did have mosquitoes,” Scott said.

“Some of them were just people that were taking the convenience of having the canoes there,” Scott said.

Scott said that canoes will not be checked everyday, but on a “regular basis,” and told neighbors at the Faubourg St. John Neighborhood Association meeting earlier this month to let him know about canoes that seem abandoned.

“If you see that some are out there and they’re unattended, just get that message to me and I’ll be the contact for Mosquito Control,” Scott said.

According to Scott, once the canoes are removed, they are taken to NOPD’s Property and Evidence warehouse.

According to Scott, he has a spreadsheet of the canoes that have been cited, with photos of each, and a citation number.

The initial fine for owners that are cited is $150, and an additional fine of $10 for everyday it is with NOPD.

Scott said that if the owner does not remove the canoe after the summons has been on it for 48 hours, the canoes are taken and stored in NOPD’s Property and Evidence warehouse.

“There’s just a warehouse of stuff,” Scott said.

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