The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has scheduled a drawdown of Lake Bistineau (Webster, Bossier, and Bienville Parishes) . The drawdown is designed to reduce the further expansion of salvinia as summer temperatures promote maximum growth. The drawdown will also benefit fisheries production by improving aquatic habitat and reducing the amount of organic matter on the lake bottom.
The water control structure is scheduled to be opened on July 23, 2018, and the lake should dewater at a rate of 4-6 inches per day. The maximum drawdown level will be 8 feet below normal pool stage. Aquatic habitat conditions in the lake will be evaluated during the drawdown to determine the most appropriate time to end the drawdown and allow the lake to refill for early spring recreational activities.
The Lake Bistineau Waterbody Management Plan is designed to give recreational boaters most of the summer to enjoy traditional use of the lake prior to water levels dropping. Due to the large watershed of the lake and the rapid growth rate of giant salvinia, the likelihood of an effective drawdown is diminished with a later start date. A July start date has provided the most predictable results in recent years.
During the drawdown, an estimated 10,000 acres of water will remain in the lake. Boaters can access the lake from the following public boat launches: Port of Bistineau Launch, Bossier Public Launch, Grice’s, and Bayou Dorcheat Public Launch. Boaters are advised to use caution during the low water period, as boat lanes will not provide normal clearance of underwater obstructions.
This action is a necessary component of LDWF’s integrated management plan to control overabundant aquatic vegetation growth and to improve the Lake Bistineau sport fishery. An annual cycle of high and low water fluctuation can provide beneficial effects similar to a natural overflow lake system. Herbicide applications and weevil stockings will continue during the drawdown period.