I wanna know: Why are they draining Bundick Lake? - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

I wanna know: Why are they draining Bundick Lake?

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DRY CREEK, LA (KPLC) -

If you've been to Bundick Lake in Beauregard Parish lately, you probably noticed -- it looks as though they've pulled the plug.
   
"I wanna know, why they drained the lake?," asked Lillian Gaskins, a resident. She and her granddaughter want to know what happened to the water in the lake.

In March 2012, there was flooding. The way it appears right now is a sharp contrast. Usually, the spillway is covered with white, rushing water. Now, the concrete is dry and it's next to a mud flat.

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries asked for the drawdown in part at the request of property owners and it started in September.

Fisheries biologist, Eric Shanks, said it will help get rid of aquatic weeds such as the salvinia and improve fishing. Plus, officials plan to restock it.

Residents all around the lake are making repairs and building. Resident Nathan Schexnider plans to get a lot done while the water is down, repairing docks and such.

There's also maintenance on the gate structure and spillway. It's work residents hope will help flooding or even pave the way for future improvements.

For now, residents say where there is water, fishing is good.

They expect to let the lake refill in January. After that, drawdowns are planned about every five years.

Following this story is the drawdown schedule from Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries.

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2013 DRAWDOWN SCHEDULE FOR BUNDICK LAKE
1) Work to be accomplished prior to gate opening (Spring/Summer 2013)
a. Conduct public hearing on proposed drawdown plans.
b. Meet with BPPJ to discuss plans with them and get their written approval
c. Contact local DOTD personnel to discuss work needs.
d. Add official 5 year drawdown schedule and relevant documentation to Bundick Lake management plan.
2) Gate opening September 10, 2013
a. Work with local DOTD personnel to maintain 91' MSL lake elevation
b. Work with BPPJ and DOTD to repair spillway launch and conduct any other feasible maintenance items from (1c) above.
3) Gate closure January 15, 2014

From Louisiana DOTD

At the request of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, DOTD began the process of lowering the water level of Bundick Lake on September 10. To lower the water, the gate structure was opened allowing water to flow through the bypass structure.

DOTD has taken advantage of the low water level to do maintenance work on the gate structure and spillway. Work on the spillway included cleaning and sealing a few joints with the concrete.

We anticipate closing the gate in January 2014.

For additional information regarding the drawdown at Bundick Lake, please contact Eric Shanks, with Wildlife and Fisheries, at 337-491-2577.

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