Salvinia growth prompts state drawdown on Lake Bistineau

Salvinia growth prompts state drawdown on Lake Bistineau

LAKE BISTINEAU, LA (KSLA) - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will begin a drawdown on Lake Bistineau within a week to address the spread of giant salvinia.

Based on a recent aerial survey, salvinia plant coverage exceeds more than 4,000 acres on the lake, creating an immediate need for a drawdown, officials said Thursday.

Giant salvinia is an invasive aquatic weed that tends to spread as summer temps increase.

Most salvinia in Lake Bistineau is confined to the upper reaches by thick standing timber. Floating boom material also has been used as a precautionary measure to prevent the plant from drifting downstream.

The boom also concentrates the plants, making herbicide applications more efficient.

Drawdown plans include dewatering the lake by 4 to 6 inches per day below normal pool stage. After a 60-day drying period, the control gates will be operated for minor water fluctuations to isolate additional salvinia plants. The gates will be closed no later than November 30 to allow the lake to refill.

The lake will not be closed to fishing during the drawdown, but caution is advised for boaters during the low water period as boat lanes will not provide normal clearance for underwater obstructions.

During the drawdown period, an estimated 8,000 acres of water will remain in the lake.  Boaters will be able to access the lake from the following public boat launches: Port of Bistineau Launch, Bossier Public Launch, Grice's and Bayou Dorcheat Public Launch.

For further information regarding the drawdown, contact Evan Thames, LDWF Biologist Manager, at (318) 371-5216 or

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