Herbicide Application Conducted on Sherburne Wildlife Management Area

Release Date: 11/06/2013

Helicopter prepares to spray herbicide at Sherburne WMA on Oct. 24, 2013.
Herbicide distributed by helicopter at Sherburne WMA on Oct. 24, 2013.
Results of herbicide application at Sherburne WMA as of Oct. 31, 2013.

Nov. 6, 2013 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Wildlife Division recently treated over 700 acres of undesirable wetland vegetation on Sherburne Wildlife Management Area.  The treatments will improve waterfowl habitat and hunter access.  Treatments included herbicide application by ground, boat, fixed-wing, and rotary application, biological control with salvinia weevils, extended drawdowns, prescribed fire, and mechanical manipulation.

Approximately 250 acres of invasive floating vegetation in the Des Ourses Swamp were treated.  “The Swamp is a very popular public duck hunting destination, and the expansion of invasive floating vegetation has nearly eliminated open water available to ducks and duck hunters,” said Tony Vidrine, LDWF area supervisor.

The remainder of the treatments occurred on Sherburne’s North and South Farms, which are very popular lottery waterfowl hunting areas.  Cutgrass, water hyacinth, buttonwood, and willow trees were greatly reducing the availability of preferred waterfowl forage producing plants.

Department biologists and partners from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began experimental herbicide trials last summer under the guidance of Dr. Christopher Mudge, research biologist with the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center.  Results of these trials led to the selection of a combination of herbicides that had not been used on a large scale.  Valent U.S.A. Corporation graciously donated a portion of the herbicide.

“Early indications of an effective kill look promising,” said Paul Link, North American Waterfowl Management Plan Coordinator.

The Department wants to remind the public of LDWF standard procedure that restricts the use of herbicides only to those certified as safe by the EPA.  When applied properly, these herbicides are not harmful to fish and other aquatic organisms. 

Sherburne WMA, located in the Morganza Floodway system of the Atchafalaya Basin, is situated in the lower and upper portions of Pointe Coupee, St. Martin, and Iberville parishes respectively, between the Atchafalaya River and the East Protection Guide Levee. The WMA is accessible from US Hwy. 190 and I-10.   

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information, contact Paul Link at plink@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2358.