Salvinia control effort on Saline Lake proves successful

Saline Lake, a water body nearly completely covered with giant salvinia last fall, has recently shown significant improvement due to an aquatic vegetation management plan initiated by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) in the spring of 2009.

Recent surveys indicate excellent results, and much of the salvinia has died and dropped from the water’s surface. A majority of remaining salvinia is showing signs of dying and is expected to drop from the water’s surface within the next few weeks.

LDWF biologists predict excellent fishing on the lake during the upcoming fall and spring seasons, as well as convenient access for duck hunters.

“I am pleased that Saline Lake will once again be a sportsman’s paradise for the people of Winn and Natchitoches parishes and the entire state,” said Senator Gerald Long. “As I toured the lake recently, I was struck again with the natural beauty and the uniqueness of this special place. I am deeply appreciative to the department for their efforts to bring this about.”

Giant salvinia was discovered on the lake back in the fall of 2007. Since its discovery, LDWF has utilized multiple control methods. Spray crews working from boats immediately stepped up efforts, but success was limited due to the salvinia growing in inaccessible areas covered by cypress and tupelo trees.

Application of an EPA-approved herbicide injected directly into the water showed greater signs of success than any of the previously used control methods. After injection, the herbicide is absorbed by the roots of the floating plants, unlike most herbicides which are sprayed directly onto the leaves.

Before the application was made, a drawdown of the lake was conducted in early June of this year. During the drawdown period, 245 gallons of herbicide were dispersed throughout the area. Another application of 82.5 gallons followed to maintain herbicide levels and improve the kill.