Officials with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries have decided to wait roughly three more weeks to draw down Lake Bistineau, setting a date for Aug. 15.
Rep. Gene Reynolds, District 10, says he’s addressed concerns with LDWF Secretary Charlie Melancon during a conference call Friday and says it is a good compromise. He’s received several phone calls in the last several days with callers for and against drawing down the lake at its scheduled time, which would have been Monday.
“It wouldn’t be detrimental, and Wildlife and Fisheries is going to double their efforts on the north end,” Reynolds said. “It will allow more usage of the lake on the south end. I know some people are going to be upset, but I think this will be a good compromise.” The north end of Lake Bistineau is literally matted with giant salvinia, but the southern end is still relatively clear, officials said.
LDWF has been fighting giant salvinia through a number of methods over the years and has used a combination of methods in an effort to stunt the growth of the invasive aquatic weed. The best methods they say used so far is the herbicide spraying and the drawdown.
Lake Bistineau, LDWF officials say, is a dying lake, and through the efforts of the drawdown and spraying, it not only kills the salvinia but stimulates sports fish production.
When aquatic life dies off, officials say, it floats to the bottom of the lake and rots. The idea behind the drawdown is to allow a period of time during the hot, dry season of summer for the vegetation at the bottom of the lake to dry out.