The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will initiate a drawdown on Lake Bistineau within the coming week in its attempt to address the spread of giant salvinia, an invasive aquatic weed, which tends to proliferate as summertime temperatures increase.
Based on a recent aerial survey, plant coverage currently exceeds 4,000 acres, creating the need for an immediate drawdown.
Most salvinia in Lake Bistineau is currently confined to the upper reaches of the impoundment by thick standing timber.
Floating boom material has also been deployed as a precautionary measure to prevent the plant from drifting downstream. The boom also concentrates the plants, making herbicide applications more efficient.
The drawdown plans include a dewatering of 4 to 6 inches per day, not to exceed 7 feet below normal pool stage.
Following an initial drying period of 60 days, the control gates will be operated for minor water fluctuations to isolate additional salvinia plants. The gates will be closed no later than November 30, 2013, to allow the lake to refill.
The lake will not be closed to fishing during the drawdown, but caution is advised of boaters during the low water period as boat lanes will not provide normal clearance for underwater obstructions.
During the drawdown period, an estimated 8,000 acres of water will remain in the lake. Boaters will be able to access the lake from the following public boat launches: Port of Bistineau Launch, Bossier Public Launch, Grice's and Bayou Dorcheat Public Launch.
For further information regarding the drawdown, contact Evan Thames, LDWF Biologist Manager, at (318) 371-5216 or firstname.lastname@example.org.