Lake Bistineau bill goes to House floor Monday

A House bill to create revenue for Lake Bistineau that will help in the fight against giant salvinia is expected to go to the floor Monday.

House Bill 228, authored by state Rep. Gene Reynolds, if passed would dedicate $300,000 of the state’s mineral income from activities on certain water bottoms of Lake Bistineau to weevil production for control of giant salvinia on the lake.

In years past, Reynolds says, the bill did not make it. This year is a little different in that some things were amended that he feels will help it move forward.

“We amended it a little bit, and I think it will pass this time,” he said.

The proposed law would dedicate the funds from of the state leases, royalties, bonuses and rights-of-way from activity on Lake Bistineau for weevil production. It would create the Lake Bistineau Management Account in the conservation fund.

Reynolds says he is looking at a public/private partnership to help cover some of these expenses, as the requested amount won’t cover it all.
“The $100,000 requested doesn’t cover the whole year, so that’s why I’m looking into a public/private partnership,” he said in an earlier edition of the Press-Herald. “We’ve got some people that are interested in trying to work with us.”

The idea is to get a bill passed that would generate funding from the oil and gas underneath the lake to build a weevil breeding station as well as research into endocide.

Endocide is a process developed by researchers at Stephen F. Austin State University by which the salvinia would produce lethal chemicals that would turn on itself, thereby killing it from root to flower.

If passed, the bill would go into effect July 1 and sunset on or after July 1, 2017.

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