Lake Bistineau remains closed

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Courtesy Photo | High water with a coating of Salvinia surrounds a home at Camp Joy on the Bossier Parish side of Lake Bistineau.

Salvinia spraying begins Monday

Lake Bistineau remains closed to recreational boat traffic because of high water following decisions made by the police juries of Bossier and Webster parishes, but lakeside residents may notice boats on the lake beginning Monday.

“We’ve been informed by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries that contract workers will be spraying the giant Salvinia on the lake beginning Monday,” said Bossier Parish Administrator Bill Altimus.  “People will know who they are, because they will be using air boats.”

Altimus said Wildlife and Fisheries agents will also be patrolling on the lake in boats that are clearly marked. Both agents and spraying contractors will be traveling slowly to avoid creating troublesome wakes near already flooded areas.

“The Wildlife and Fisheries people say this is a prime opportunity to spray the Salvinia and other intrusive weeds,” he added.

Both Bossier and Webster parishes closed the lake June 7 when water levels began rising. Currently, the National Weather Service reports Bistineau remains above flood stage and is rising as water from Loggy Bayou stacks into the lower lake.

Altimus said the lake was closed due to flooding and because of the potential for damage to property from boat wakes. Each parish bordering the lake has the authority to close its portion of the lake, and has done so in the past when circumstances warrant, he pointed out.

During a briefing Thursday at the Bossier Office of  Emergency Preparedness, parish officials reported the Crier’s Camp Rd. into Lake Bistineau had been closed due to high water. The lake reportedly rose two inches Wednesday night after consecutive five-inch rises the previous two days.

National Weather Service forecasters said Thursday Lake Bistineau was expected to crest Thursday at 145.3 feet, roughly three feet above flood stage.

“We’re checking on the water levels throughout the parish constantly and we will be monitoring Lake Bistineau each day,” Altimus said. “We will lift the boat ban on the lake as soon we’re convinced it’s safe to do so.”