Lake Bistineau April 20, 2011 Update

April 20, 2011

Lake Bistineau is currently four feet below pool stage due to lack of rainfall once the gates were closed last May.  Overall the lake is in good shape. We have less than 20 acres of giant salvinia on the lake at this time. This is due in part to cold weather as well as herbicide applications. 

There are a few areas where we are treating new growth or primary stage plants on the lake. They are around Plum Orchard Marina, Toulon area, dam area as well as the extreme upper reaches of Spring Branch.

We have treated a 13-acre beaver pond in the upper reaches of Spring Branch with Sonar AS. This is a water soluble herbicide that treats the entire water column. Thus far, the results are extremely promising.   Salvinia control in the outer areas including the beaver pond and gravel pits is essential because they are feeders to the lake’s main water body.  If we can control or eliminate the problem there, it will make the main lake’s management much more effective. 

The permitting process is nearly complete for individual landowners to remove cypress trees from the lake area close to their property.  I will approve which trees are removed prior to any cutting or permits being issued.  As soon as these permits are available, we will notify the public here on our website. 

We ask that all landowners on the lake take the time to visit their shorelines and report any new salvinia growth as soon as possible. This is the time of year new sprouts appear, and we need to act as quickly as possible to hold back the explosion.   This small amount of effort put forth by landowners will significantly decrease the amount of legwork our personnel has to undertake to simply locate the plants.  I can better utilize our personnel within the same timeframe if we can dedicate the majority of our time to spraying the plants rather than both locating and spraying them.  Such a small effort per individual can produce a very large output. When located, please contact me at ethames@wlf.la.gov.

Our department plans to host a salvinia workshop at our Minden office to educate the general public on salvinia identification as well as offer an opportunity to have any questions answered concerning the biology of the plant.  If you are interested in attending, please email me as soon as possible so you can be notified once the workshop is scheduled.  I recommend all concerned members of the public attend the Lake Bistineau Task Force meetings at the Webster Parish Courthouse scheduled every two months. 

If you have questions or need further information, please don’t hesitate to contact me at ethames@wlf.la.gov or 318-371-5216.

Evan L. Thames
Fisheries Biologist Manager