The department is poised to finish the final component of a long-range plan to address giant salvinia on Lake Bistineau once the lake’s water level reaches seven feet below pool stage. To date, fall and winter rain events have kept the water level from dropping much below three feet.
The number and placement of trees in the lake is contributing to the proliferation of this plant. The trees offer cover from freeze damage, slow water velocity which encourages silt depositing and the establishment of nursery areas, prevents plant movement and inhibits spraying. Strategic tree removal in relation to nursery areas and the spillway will be one control method considered when the water is down.
After aerial inspection in November, we observed a significant reduction in plant coverage due to heavy rainfall throughout October. While some plants passed through the control structure, stranding of the plants within the lake was the main contributor for the reduction. This proves that utilizing water level fluctuations to strand plants is a successful control method and why much of our attention has been focused on using this method going forward. The immense watershed provides us with more capacity to fluctuate water levels year round.
I have participated in several productive meetings in recent weeks and more are planned. I anticipate meeting with the Louisiana State Land Office, Louisiana National Guard, Department of Environmental Quality, Bossier Police Jury and state legislators in the near future. Most of the meetings are follow-up meetings to address particular issues.