LDWF requests opening of Lake Bistineau gates

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has requested the Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) to open the water control structure on Lake Bistineau in Webster, Bossier and Bienville parishes in an effort to benefit the department’s ongoing lake management efforts.

There was an above-average amount of rainfall in the Lake Bistineau watershed during August and September, and the lake did not reach its targeted low level during the 2020 drawdown. As a result, the water levels are currently higher than expected during typical drawdown conditions for this time of the year.

The gates are scheduled for closure on February 28, 2021, to allow the lake to refill. However, due to the extensive watershed flowing into the lake, it is possible that extensive rainfall will fill the lake prior to the selected closure date, even with the gates open. Certain water levels and conditions may require DOTD to close the gates to prevent damage to the dam and spillway structure.

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: www.wlf.louisiana.gov/resources/category/freshwater-inland-fish/inland-waterbody-management-plans.