The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, in conjunction with the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LA DOTD) and the Louisiana Office of State Parks, has scheduled a drawdown for Chicot Lake in Evangeline Parish for vegetation control and bridge repairs. The drawdown is scheduled to begin after Labor Day on September 6, 2016. The control structure is scheduled for closure on January 2, 2017, to allow the lake to refill and ensure that fish nesting habitat is accessible for springtime spawning.
In order for LA DOTD to perform the necessary bridge repairs, the lake will initially be lowered at a rate of 3 inches per day to a maximum of 6 feet below pool stage. Caution is advised for boaters during the low water period, as boat lanes will not provide normal clearance of underwater structures.
The lake will be closed to fishing, boating and all other recreation when the lake reaches 3 feet below pool level (39’ MSL). LA DOTD will begin repairs in early October, barring significant rainfall, and they expect to complete repairs within two to three weeks. The control structure will then be closed and the lake allowed to refill until it reaches 3 feet below pool stage. At that time, the lake will be reopened to fishing and other recreation. The lake will be maintained at that level for vegetation control until January 2, 2017, when the control structure will be closed and the lake allowed to refill.
This action is a necessary component of LDWF’s integrated management plan developed in 2015 to control overabundant aquatic vegetation growth and to improve the Chicot Lake sport fishery. An annual cycle of high and low water fluctuation can provide beneficial effects similar to a natural overflow lake system.
LDWF also conducts annual herbicide applications for floating and emergent vegetation. An application of fluridone was applied in the early spring of 2016 near the north fishing pier. This systemic herbicide is used to target early-submersed plant growth.
For additional information regarding the drawdown, contact Jody David, LDWF Biologist Manager, at email@example.com or (337) 948-0255.