Judging from the mountain-high stacks of sheetrock in the home repair stores these days, this Memorial Day isn’t a glorious time, especially if you're among the hundreds of homeowners needing to use that material to fix flood damage.

Yet, now that flood waters have receded enough to reopen the landings in the Verret Basin and for folks in Pointe Coupee Parish to allow motorboats to operate on False River, this first “summer” weekend.

Catches in and around Lake Verret and Belle River are off-the-chart good. Catfish are darned near jumping into the boat, and while bass action waned a bit last week, chinquapin, bluegill and sac-a-lait are more than filling that void.

The mo’ better news is that it appears bluegill holed up in the canals the past two years have moved out into Lake Verret and give families a better than fair chance for weekend fish frys.

The freshwater marshes, accessed from Bayou Black and Amelia, are holding lots of bass, and fly fishers are taking advantage of bedded-up bluegills around grass beds.

Federal river watchers reported Friday that “flooding has ended on the lower Mississippi River,” and while a rise is coming in the mid-Mississippi area, any rise on the lower section “will be minor and slowly dissipate.”

That’s big news for the guys working on bass in the Buras-Venice area, and should bode well for the speckled trout chasers. Not that the latter group needs much help these days, because trout action has picked up for the Venice charters. Problem is those write-home-about-it catches haven’t been consistent enough — not yet — for the all-hands-on-deck call.

And, now that the south winds have stopped swelling water levels across the waters in the Pontchartrain, Barataria and Terrebonne basins, trout and redfish catches are on the rise.

The commission

Delta Waterfowl and Ducks Unlimited will report on how each organization spent Louisiana’s dedicated funds on the waterfowl breeding areas during Thursday’s 9:30 a.m. Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting in Baton Rouge.

And, Waterfowl Study leader Larry Reynolds will offer a resolution on that funding before the LWFC will consider a notice of intent to change the gear the state’s bait shrimp permit holders use.

There’s a 75% restriction for the Joe Herring Room at state Wildlife and Fisheries headquarters on Quail Drive, and a Zoom audio/video stream has been set up for the meeting. Use this website: wlf-la.zoom.us.

Safe boating

At the start of the summer season, Boat/US sent valuable advice for fishermen and boaters that goes beyond having a working cellphone.

First is to file a float plan: Leave a detailed note about where you’re going and what time to expect your return. Make sure to leave your cell number and descriptions of your vehicle and boat.

Make sure your cellphone is fully charged before leaving the dock or launch and keep it dry during the day.

Next is not to trust cell coverage and have a VHF radio aboard and a VHF with Digital Selective Calling, a feature with a “mayday” button that sends your boat’s location to rescuers.

If you’re up to date and have purchased an Emergency Position Indicating Rescue Beacon or Personal Locator Beacon, then make sure to register it with the Coast Guard to avoid the USCG from having to respond to false alerts from these devices.

Bad guys

It took state Enforcement Division agents three months to assemble all the alleged deer hunting violations against three Marksville residents, Adam Angona, 22, Hope Dauzat, 23, and Kent Dauzat, 27.

Angona was cited for taking over the season limit of deer, taking deer during a closed season, and a federal Lacey Act violation for illegally taking a deer on a National Wildlife Refuge.

Hope Dauzat received citations for taking deer during a closed season, and Kent Dauzat for taking over the season limit of deer. Both were cited for “aiding and abetting” in the charge against Angona for illegally taking a deer on the Lake Ophelia NWR, and face Lacey Act penalties for removing an illegally harvested deer from federal land.

The agents seized 10 deer and a rifle in connection to the case.

In addition to state and federal fines and possible jail time, civil restitution fines total $7,724 for Angona, $2,033 each for Kent and Hope Dauzat.

The pros

A third-place finish in last weekend’s Bassmaster Elite tournament on Lake Guntersville in Alabama pushed Gonzales veteran touring pro Greg Hackney into sixth place in the series’ Angler of the Year standings.

And, Caleb Sumrall, the young pro from New Iberia, had the four-day event’s 7-pound, 6-ounce big bass.

Gonzales’ Gerald Spohrer finished ninth in Major League Fishing’s tournament on the Harris Chain of Lakes in Florida.