I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year thus far! Currently, Lake Bistineau is at pool stage. Anglers, duck hunters and lake homeowners have been waiting for this day for quite some time; since September 16, 2011, to be exact. While salvinia has not been eradicated from Lake Bistineau, it is at a manageable level at this time. There are an estimated 500 acres of giant salvinia on the lake. Herbicide applications by state spray personnel as well as contract air boat applications are ongoing.
The largest areas or “mats” of vegetation are being targeted first, in an effort to be as advantageous as possible. When large mats are present, more plant material can be effectively treated in one day rather than spot treating small areas or scattered drifting material. Spray crews follow the salvinia mats as they move with changing wind directions.
Currently, there is no drawdown scheduled for 2012, but drawdowns may be utilized depending upon the total acreage of salvinia at certain times of the year as described in the Lake Bistineau Management Plan. The Department is working cooperatively with other agencies and states to research methods that may aid in the fight against this invasive plant species.
In the past, we have asked for the pubic to notify us of hot spots throughout the lake in need of treatment. We have received numerous emails and calls with reports, and these efforts have been greatly appreciated. This process enables our spray crews to spend their time solely treating plants, instead of first seeking them out, thus increasing productivity. Remember, with cooler air and water temperatures, it takes a longer period of time for evidence of herbicide applications to be visible (i.e. browning or dying of the plants).
LDWF is currently in the planning stages of timber thinning and removal of cypress trees. We do not have a specific timeframe for the timber harvest at this time, but do know that it will occur during a future drawdown event.
Channel markers on the lake can be difficult to follow at times, so Bistineau Task Force members have volunteered to make and/or purchase display signage to assist boaters while navigating the lake.
The first training session for the “Lake Bistineau Private Spray Training Program” will be held at the Department’s Minden office at 9961 Hwy. 80, on Saturday, February 18. To register for the class, contact Connie Kyles with the Saline Soil and Water Conservation Office at (318) 894-9326. Registration is limited to 75 participants, so please register as soon as possible to ensure a spot. Future training sessions will be announced when dates and locations become available.
Hopefully, the remainder of January and February will bring colder temperatures to assist in reducing the overall acreage of salvinia on the lake.
Fisheries Biologist Manager