Lake Bistineau drawdown underway

Drawdown designed to control spread of giant salvinia, LDWF says

Water levels on Lake Bistineau are being dropped as part of the battle against giant salvinia, which has plagued the lake for years, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said.

Recent aerial surveys indicated the invasive aquatic weed covers more than 4,000 acres, making a drawdown imperative, the LDWF said.

Most of the salvinia in Lake Bistineau is confined to the upper reaches of the impoundment by thick standing timber and floating boom material that has been deployed to lessen the chances the plant will drifting downstream, the agency said.

The boom also concentrates the plants, making herbicide applications more efficient, the LDWF said.

Drawdown plans include a dewatering of 4 to 6 inches per day, not to exceed 7 feet below normal pool stage, according to the LDWF. Following an initial drying period of 60 days, the control gates will be operated for minor water fluctuations to isolate additional plants.

The gates will be closed no later than Nov. 30 to allow the lake to refill, the LDWF said.

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, the agency said.

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
• Bayou Dorcheat Public Launch.

For further information regarding the drawdown, contact LDWF’s Evan Thames at 318-371-5216.

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