Lake Bistineau January 22, 2010 Update


Our staff has spent a great deal of time assessing the damage to giant salvinia plants as a result of recent freeze events. Damage to the exposed portion of the plants was extreme. However, just below the surface, the same plants exhibited green and potentially viable plant material. These observations are similar to those from previous winters. We suspect the plants will survive the winter and continue to grow throughout the spring.

Samples were taken in areas where weevils were stocked to assess their survival. I expect to have those results within the next few days.

I have received a number of inquiries requesting additional information about the drawdown. As of today, we have not achieved a seven foot drawdown due to heavy rainfall. Therefore, we anticipate the gates will remain open for some time. While the gates have been open, the increased rainfall has resulted in water fluctuations and stranding of the plants.

In fact, as we go forward, water fluctuations appear to be the best tool in our war chest to control this plant species in Lake Bistineau. We hope to continue manipulating water levels over the next few months. Therefore, I do not have a timeline for closing or opening the gates. It will depend upon the circumstances at that time.

The plan is undergoing review and rewrites.

You are encouraged to provide comments or questions on our website.

Mark McElroy
Fisheries Biologist