Release Date: 03/21/2006

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will begin herbicide applications on Lake Bistineau on Monday, March 20, weather permitting, to halt the spread of giant salvinia, an invasive aquatic plant.

The herbicide being utilized is approved for aquatic use by the Environmental Protection Agency and has proven to be very effective in controlling giant salvinia. The public is advised to keep a safe distance from the LDWF boats making the applications and heed all posted warnings in the application areas. Any questions on the spraying, coordinated by the Inland Fisheries Division, should be directed to LDWFs Area 1 office in Minden (ph. 318-371-3050). 

Inland Fisheries biologists recently collected and positively identified the invasive aquatic plant giant salvinia, Salvinia molesta, within the lake that overlaps portions of Bienville, Bossier and Webster Parishes. Giant salvinia is a non-native, floating aquatic fern which grows rapidly, often covering the surface of the water to form thick mats of vegetation that reduce oxygen content and degrade water quality. The aquatic plant  spreads by vegetative reproduction and can be transported from one body of water to another on boat trailers.  Boaters and anglers are encouraged to remove all vegetation from trailers, propellers, and intakes prior to launching and when removing their boat from any waterbody.

Lake Bistineau has been plagued by aquatic weed problems for many years, but this is the first documented occurrence of giant salvinia, a plant native to South America, which is considered by many biologists to be among the worst aquatic pests.  LDWF is currently surveying Lake Bistineau to determine the extent of the infestation, and developing plans for continued herbicide applications, involving spray crews from throughout the state, in an effort to control and hopefully eradicate this noxious aquatic plant. 

EDITORS:  For more information, contact James Seales at 318-371-3050 or jseales@wlf.louisiana.gov.