Based on the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries recommendation, the St. Martin Parish Government has scheduled a drawdown for Henderson Lake in St. Martin Parish to manage aquatic vegetation and enhance fisheries habitat.
The southern control structure gates will open on Monday, August 1, 2022. The lake will dewater at a rate of 2 to 4 inches per day until it reaches 3 feet below pool stage. The dewatering rate could be impacted by local rainfall in the surrounding watershed. The drawdown gates are scheduled to be closed on November 1, 2022, at which time the lake will be allowed to refill.
Houseboat owners are encouraged to take any necessary precautions as soon as possible. During the drawdown, boaters will be able to access the lake from the private ramps along the southern levee. Boaters should use caution as numerous obstructions will be exposed or may be present just under the water’s surface. Boaters should also be cautious about potential interactions with silver carp as the lower water levels are conducive to those fish jumping around moving boats.
In addition to the control of overabundant aquatic vegetation, the drawdown will benefit the lake’s fish population by promoting a balanced predator/prey relationship, where forage fish are more available to predator species. The dewatering will also improve the spawning habitat by promoting the decomposition and potential drying of organic materials such as leaf litter and submerged vegetation.
Herbicide applications will continue during the drawdown period.
The Henderson Lake Waterbody Management Plan can be viewed at: www.wlf.louisiana.gov/resources/category/freshwater-inland-fish/inland-waterbody-management-plans.
For further information regarding the drawdown, contact Brac Salyers, LDWF Biologist Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (337) 735-8711.