As the lake continues to lower to 7 feet below pool stage level, our fisheries staff is preparing to evaluate the lake bottom and acquire sufficient data to plan for lake bottom renovations. Any approved plan to move dirt will require prior approval by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. We will work cooperatively with this federal agency during the summer.
The plan is to incorporate fish habitat improvements while addressing the issue of drying lagoons during drawdown events. We’re confident that we can accomplish both simultaneously. The earliest any dirt work can be accomplished is the summer of 2011, and it will require an approved Corps permit and a commitment by the National Guard.
Our fisheries staff observed salvinia re-emergence around the lake. The plants are small and dispersed, making treatment with contact herbicides impractical at this point. Spray crews will treat areas where plants are heavily accumulated.
As noted in the plan, cypress tree removal in some areas is necessary to encourage salvinia mats to move to shallow areas, increase boating safety and decrease leaf litter. Over the next few months, while the lake is down, our fisheries staff will identify trees that will satisfy one or more of these needs. In addition, we encourage any timber company interested in harvesting/salvaging cypress trees under our supervision to contact Mark McElroy in the Baton Rouge office at 225-765-2865.
Going forward, prior notice (of one week or more) will be posted on this website to notify the public of the opening and closing of the control structure gates. For now, the gates will remain open to allow time to accomplish the activities described above. Hopefully, we can complete our work quickly so that we can resume fluctuating water levels in an effort to control salvinia growth.