The 'Bistineau Task Force' held an early fall meeting that included questions and comments from Lake Bistineau property owners and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Fisheries Biologist and District Manager, Evan Thames, provided an update on efforts to control the spread of giant salvinia.
Approximately 40 acres of the invasive aquatic species currently cover the lake. At least 20 acres have been treated with chemicals. 'That's a really good estimate and I think we're lucky to be at that point, you know, this time of year,' he says.
The 'Task Force' and residents commended the job LDWF has done in controlling the spread. Thames cautions that giant salvinia will likely never be completely eliminated from ArkLaTex waters. Residents on lakes and ponds should adopt methods to minimize the spread by learning how to spray chemicals on invasive plants moving into their waterways. LDWF plans to begin training classes for interested property owners in February.
Several lake residents pointed out that they haven't used their boats for fishing on the lake in at least 4 years. Most are worried that there isn't a budget in place to deal with annual lake preservation. Property owner, Elizabeth Jackson, says a number of her neighbors are unaware that anyone that living under 148 foot elevation line is considered to be in the lake bed. The state is currently in a lawsuit with the federal government over who tax money belongs to. 'If you're a property owner and your property falls below that 148 foot mark, then your royalties are going to the state and federal government,' explains Jackson. She would like to see the money set aside for fishing piers and salvinia upkeep on the lake.
The next Bistineau Task Force meeting will be held on January 26, 2012.