BOSSIER PARISH, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The latest drawdown of Lake Bistineau has begun in the ongoing effort to keep giant Salvinia from spreading.
At the request of the Louisiana Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development opened the drawdown gates on Lake Bistineau in south Bossier Parish Monday morning.
It’s part of the LDWF’s Lake Bistineau Waterbody Mangement plan, which they say is designed to provide as much use of the lake as possible prior to water levels dropping. However, during the summer, Salvinia growth is at its peak. They say the drawdown is necessary to control the overabundant aquatic vegetation growth.
“An annual cycle of high and low water fluctuation can provide beneficial effects similar to a natural overflow lake system,” explained the LDWF in a previous statement announcing the drawdown would take place sometime between July 15 and July 31. The department says herbicide applications will continue during the drawdown period.
The LDWF says the drawdown of the lake in Webster, Bossier, and Bienville parishes will additionally benefit fisheries production by improving aquatic habitat and reducing the amount of organic matter on the lake bottom.
Once the water control structure is open, the LDWF says the lake will dewater at a rate of 4 to 6 inches per day until it reaches a potential maximum drawdown level of 8 feet below pool stage. During the drawdown, the department will monitor aquatic habitat conditions to determine the best time to conclude the drawdown and allow the lake to refill.
During the drawdown, an estimated 10,000 acres of water will remain in the lake. Boaters can still access the lake during the drawdown from the following public boat launches: Port of Bistineau Launch, Bossier Public Launch, Grice’s and Bayou Dorcheat Public Launch. Boaters are advised to use caution during the low water period, as boat lanes will not provide normal clearance of underwater obstructions.
The drawdown is a necessary component of LDWF’s integrated management plan to control overabundant aquatic vegetation growth and to improve the Lake Bistineau sport fishery. An annual cycle of high and low water fluctuation can provide beneficial effects similar to a natural overflow lake system. Herbicide applications will continue during the drawdown period.
To assist the department with control efforts, click here to report sightings of invasive aquatic plants on the lake.
For additional information regarding the drawdown, contact Jeff Sibley, LDWF Biologist Manager, at email@example.com or 318-371-3066.