LDWF schedules drawdown for Clear-Smithport Lake

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has scheduled a drawdown of Clear-Smithport Lake (Desoto Parish) for giant salvinia control, organic reduction, fish habitat improvement and structural assessment. The drawdown is designed to reduce the further expansion of salvinia as summertime temperatures promote maximum growth.

The water control structure is scheduled to be opened on July 26, 2021, and the lake should dewater at a rate of 2-4 inches per day. The lake will be lowered to a maximum drawdown water level of approximately 4 feet below normal pool stage to a target level of 127.6 Mean Sea Level.  The Clear-Smithport control gates are scheduled to be closed on January 31, 2022 to allow the lake to refill for early-spring recreational activities.

During the drawdown, an estimated 600-700 acres of water will remain open throughout areas of the lake. Boaters may still access the main waterbody from the DeSoto Parish Ramp at the Hwy 509 bridge with small craft only. Boaters are also advised to use caution when on the water, as numerous obstructions that are normally not seen will be present.

This action is a necessary component of LDWF’s integrated management plan to control overabundant aquatic vegetation growth and to improve access for recreational activities.  An annual cycle of high and low water fluctuation can provide beneficial effects similar to a natural overflow lake system.

The current LDWF Clear-Smithport Aquatic Vegetative Management Plan can be viewed at: http://ow.ly/M6AY50Fq9tk

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