River Lagoon and Swampland Boat Tours
and Owner; Barry "Chop" Legé
"Chop" Legé comes from a Louisiana bayous family with a long
history of wildlife and lands management. Going
back for three generations, his family has been involved with lands and game management. His grandfather had
a hunting and fishing resort and also worked as a games warden.
Father and sons worked with his grandfather on the property. His
father also managed the famed McIIhenney 'Tabasco Sauce' family
properties. By his fathers side he learned subtle ins and outs
of birds and wildlife, such as knowing the health of the
environment, wildlife and birding flocks by the
types of calls
and sounds that a carefully trained ear can detect.
his family as wardens, he has worked for the preservation of
coastal wetlands in Louisiana and managed hunting and
fishing resorts along the coast of Louisiana.
In 1993 he
moved to Florida to start a wildlife boat tour on Lake
Okeechobee through the National Audubon Society's wildlife
sanctuary. (The National Audubon Society has a 28,500
acre sanctuary leased from the State of Florida on the
northwestern shore of Lake Okeechobee.)
the new business Swamp Land Tours Inc., Audubon asked if he
could represent them as a volunteer warden to interact with
the public in educating them on the preservation of habitats
Captain Legé founded C-O.k.e.e., (Conservation Center for
Lake Okeechobee, Kissimmee & Indian Rivers & Everglades
Education), a non-profit 501c3 organization whose goal is to
promote through education the preservation and conservation
of the environments of Lake Okeechobee, the Kissimmee and
Indian Rivers, and the Everglades.
Oceanographic Institute's Associate members became frequent
visitors to the boat and after having over 2000 members take
the trip he was approached by the organization to move is
operations to Harbor Branch in 1998 where he conducted
wildlife and nature cruises of the Indian River Lagoon, VIP
excursions of the environments on the campus plus other
areas of the state until June 2004.
Since June of
2004, Captain Legé
has been operating from the Fort Pierce, FL City Marina,
conducting guided education and entertaining tours of the
Indian River Lagoon (IRL) and Estuary to area school
children and general public.
Other Crew Members
Captain is a United States Coast Guard licensed master.
Captain, Robert "Bob" Olson
Captain Bob originally captained Sternwheel excursion boats
on the historical upper Mississippi River, one of the great
flyways for our wild birds. He is a retired vocational
instructor enjoying the lagoon and estuary wildlife here on the
Treasure Coast. He joined Captain
Legé's boat tours in 2002 at
Harbor Branch, and it has been smooth sailing ever since.
Mate, Larry Spintdal
Mate, Ken Smith Mate/ Photographer/
Technical Assistant - Retired Dept.
of Defense employee from Maryland, Over 40 years of boating
experience, Joined Capt.
Legé's team in 2003 when he was at
Harbor Branch. Assists with special events, wildlife talks by
creating and presenting slide show programs, Provides point of
contact for issues and inquiries involving the website.
Mate, Tommy Thompson
tour boat, also known as "Gator" is a 40-foot twin pontoon vessel, equipped and
inspected to carry 44 passengers. It has twin 90 hp 4 stroke
outboard engines, is covered overhead and is equipped with all
the necessary safety equipment.