The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Inland Fisheries Division completed the spraying of access lanes on Lake Cataouatche in St. Charles Parish on Nov. 5. This project will improve boating and fishing access that has been severely restricted due to nuisance aquatic weeds that became a problem following the 2005 hurricanes.
Chem Spray South, a local herbicide applicator from Gonzales, was contracted to inject the lake with an herbicide to kill the annoying hydrilla and coontail weeds that get caught in boat motors and have made much of the lake inaccessible to fishing and watersports.
The application covered 22 miles of 60-foot wide lanes for a total of 1,125 acres treated with the herbicide. Hydrilla comprised 80 to 85 percent of the nuisance weeds with the other 15 to 20 percent being coontail. The herbicide used is EPA approved and poses no side effects on the aquatic animals in the lake.
"Users of this waterbody should start seeing some results in as little as three weeks and the weeds in the lanes should be mostly gone in eight weeks," said LDWF Inland Fisheries Biologist Mark Lawson. "Spraying at this time should provide access for the next five to six months."
Prior to the 2005 hurricanes, much of the hydrilla and coontail on Lake Cataouatche occurred on the edges of the lake. However, the strong winds and currents from the hurricanes spread the nuisance weeds to cover large portions of the middle of the lake.
"Keeping these types of weeds under control using preventive measures is the best management plan," said Lawson. "However, some things are out of your control, and once these weeds spread they can cover a lake in no time at all. This is why we needed to use herbicides."
For more information, contact Mark Lawson at 225-765-2336 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
An LDWF Biologist holds a piece of Hydrilla in his hand.
Nuisanse weeds such as Hydrilla and Coontail cover many of the lanes on Lake Cataouatche.