Black, Clear Lakes set to begin drawdown today

Black Lake

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) in conjunction with the Northwest Fish and Game Commission has scheduled a drawdown of Black and Clear Lake (Natchitoches Parish) for giant salvinia control, organic reduction and fish habitat improvement.  The drawdown is designed to reduce the further expansion of salvinia as summertime temperatures promote maximum growth. The water control structure is scheduled to open on June 1, 2020, and the lake should dewater at a rate of 3-6 inches per day depending on the Red River Pool 3 water level in downstream.

The water will be lowered to a maximum drawdown level of approximately 4 feet below normal pool stage to a target level of 95.0 MSL.  The Black and Clear Lake control gates are scheduled for closure on Jan. 29, 2021, to allow the lake to refill for early spring recreational activities.

While this looks like a golf course with a boat sitting in the middle of it, it’s not. This is Black Lake as seen from the Hwy 9 bridge. (file photo by Juanice Gray)

During the drawdown, an estimated 7,000-8,000 acres of water will remain in Black and Clear Lake.  Boaters may still access Black and Clear Lake from either Black Lake Lodge or Chandler’s Camp ramps, located at the Hwy 9 Bridge.  Boaters are advised to use caution when on the water as numerous obstructions that are normally not seen are present. This action is a necessary component of LDWF’s integrated management plan to control overabundant aquatic vegetation growth and to improve access for recreational activities.

An annual cycle of high and low water fluctuation can provide beneficial effects similar to a natural overflow lake system. The current LDWF Black and Clear Lake Aquatic Vegetative Management Plan  can be viewed at: For additional information regarding the drawdown, contact Villis Dowden, LDWF Biologist Manager, at or (318) 357-3214.