LDWF requests Lake Bistineau gate closure to control giant salvinia

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has requested the Department of Transportation and Development to close the water control structure on Lake Bistineau in Webster, Bossier, and Bienville parishes for giant salvinia control.

Due to recent tropical weather systems, there has been an above-average amount of rainfall in the Lake Bistineau watershed during August and September. The lake did not reach its target depth during the drawdown, and water levels are currently higher than expected during typical drawdown conditions this time of year.

After a recent survey of the lake and an evaluation of available control measures, it was determined that the best course of action would be to close the gates. Currently, there are large mats of salvinia on the lower end of the lake near the spillway. Closing the gates at this time will allow the lake to return to full pool level and provide an opportunity for salvinia to flush over the spillway as north winds and rains move through the area. The department will continue to monitor the lake to determine the best management options.

The drawdown is a necessary component of LDWF’s integrated management plan to control overabundant aquatic vegetation growth and 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. The Lake Bistineau Waterbody Management Plan can be viewed at:  https://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/resources/category/freshwater-inland-fish/inland-waterbody-management-plans.