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Bistineau gets relief

by Will Phillips

Draw down initiated for Lake Bistineau

Earlier this week, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enacted a draw down of Lake Bistineau “for the purpose of reducing the further expansion of giant Salvinia. The draw down will additionally benefit fisheries production by improving aquatic habitat and reducing the amount of organic matter on the lake bottom,” according to a press release from the LDWF.

LDWF’s Lake Bistineau Waterbody Management Plan is designed to provide as much use of the lake as possible prior to water levels dropping. However, “During the summer, Salvinia growth is at its peak. Due to the lake’s large watershed and giant Salvinia’s rapid growth capability, the likelihood of an effective draw down is reduced with a later start date,” said the release.

The draw down is necessary to control overabundant aquatic vegetation growth and to improve the Lake Bistineau sport fishery. According to the press release, “An annual cycle of high and low water fluctuation can provide beneficial effects similar to a natural overflow lake system.”

Now that the water control structure is open, the lake will dewater at a rate of 4 to 6 inches per day. The maximum draw down level will be 8 feet below pool stage. 

Herbicide applications will continue during the draw down period.

“The department will monitor aquatic habitat conditions to determine the best time to conclude the draw down and allow the lake to refill for early spring recreational activities,” said the release. 

During the draw down, an estimated 10,000 acres of water will remain in the lake. Boaters can still access the lake during the draw down from the following public boat launches: Port of Bistineau Launch, Bossier Public Launch, Grice’s and Bayou Dorcheat Public Launch.

“Boaters are advised to use caution during the low water period, as boat lanes will not provide normal clearance of underwater obstructions,” said the press release. 

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