CLEAR-SMITHPORT LAKE TO UNDERGO SERIES OF THREE CONSECUTIVE DRAWDOWNS FOR FISHERIES HABITAT IMPROVEMENT

Release Date: 06/18/2007

Clear-Smithport Lake is scheduled to undergo the first in a series of possibly three consecutive drawdowns in an effort to improve the fisheries habitats in the lake. 


Clear-Smithport Lake, which encompasses 2950 acres in DeSoto Parish, has historically had problems with heavy infestations of water hyacinth, alligator weed and submersed aquatic vegetation.  Over the years these plants, along with leaf litter from the cypress canopy, have built up a large amount of organic matter on the lake bed.  This has led to the loss of spawning habitat for desirable sport fish such as largemouth bass, crappie and bream.


Following studies into the habitat problems and the possible solutions, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Inland Fisheries Division biologists have developed a plan to improve the quality of Clear-Smithport Lake through a series of up to three consecutive drawdowns.  The plan is to improve the bottom substrate by allowing the built-up organic matter to dry and decompose.  Another benefit of the drawdowns will be the reduction of submerged vegetation.  LDWF will continue its efforts to control noxious floating and emergent aquatic vegetation through herbicide applications in conjunction with the drawdown.


The first drawdown in the series will begin on July 5, 2007, and will run through Jan. 31, 2008, at which time the gates will close and the lake will be allowed to refill.  It is expected that the lake will dewater at a rate of 4 to 6 inches per day.  The lake will be dewatered as completely as possible to allow for maximum benefits from the drawdown.


The effects of the drawdown on the fisheries habitat, fish population and aquatic vegetation coverage will be evaluated each year.


For more information, contact James Seales at 318-371-3050 or jseales@wlf.louisiana.gov.
2007-154