An $11 million facelift of Lake Bistineau parks over the next two years is on go now that capital outlay money has been approved by the state.

Homer Humphreys Jr. is a professional fisherman on the B.A.S.S. tour and a fishing guide who represents the Webster Parish Tourism Commission and Webster Parish Police Jury during his travels. Speaking in Rep. Gene Reynolds’ absence, Humphreys said the money would be used for several purposes.

“The state is committing the money for sewer, upgrades on cabins and for new cabins…a general overhaul on the state parks,” Humphreys said. “The parks will be getting a general overhaul.”

A research project planned for Lake Bistineau should be of interest to sportsmen and recreational users of the lake.

“I spoke with Rep. Reynolds and he has filed a bill for the next session for a public/private joint endeavor on the weevil project. They’re looking at Lake Bistineau for the research,” Humphreys said.

According to the Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries website, a Brazilian weevil that feeds on giant salvinia was first introduced on the lake in 2007. A major weevil stocking effort on the lake began in June, 2009. Results are still being gauged.

Weevils have been coupled with continuing spraying of the giant salvinia, but Humphreys said he recommended to Reynolds that the operation cease.

“I talked to Gene about stopping spraying now because we have an early winter and the weather will do way more good than the spray will,” Humphreys said.

A lake drawdown which has dropped the level to about nine feet below average level will continue, Humphreys said.
“Instead of shutting the gates in November like originally intended, they are going to leave them open through January,” he said. “It will save a bunch of money in this cold weather.”

Something seems to be working on the volume of giant salvinia on the lake, Humphreys told the tourism board.

“Last year I could not get up the bayou at all. Now, it’s open up to Salt Works. Travelling up the channel, I could go only a fourth of the way but now I can go through the entire channel,” he said. “It’s (salvinia) still up there, but there’s not just big globs of it. Something is working a little bit.”

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