The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and the Avoyelles Parish Police Jury have scheduled a drawdown on Spring Bayou in Avoyelles Parish for nuisance aquatic vegetation control, organic reduction, and fish habitat improvement. The drawdown is designed to reduce the amount of giant salvinia and Cuban bulrush in the lake, especially in shallow, backwater areas where herbicide applications to kill invasive plants are difficult.
The water control structure is scheduled to open on September 6, 2022, and the lake should dewater at a rate of 1 to 3 inches per day. The water will be lowered to 2 feet below normal pool stage. The Spring Bayou control gates are scheduled for closure on December 31, 2022, to allow the lake to refill for winter and early spring recreational activities.
In addition, the Wildlife and Fisheries Commission recently passed a Declaration of Emergency to temporarily reduce the recreational daily creel limit for all freshwater fish species on Spring Bayou in Avoyelles Parish during the upcoming drawdown period. The temporary regulations, which were requested by the Avoyelles Parish Police Jury, shall be for the duration of the drawdown – from September 6, 2022 through December 31, 2022. Temporary creel limits shall include:
|Black Bass (Largemouth and Spotted), no size limit
|Striped and Hybrid Striped Bass: no more than one over 30” total length
|White Bass, no size limit
|Black and White Crappie: no size limit
|Yellow Bass: no size limit
|Bowfin (Choupique): 16 in min length
|Buffalofish: 16 in min length
|Catfish (Blue Catfish: 12 in min length; Channel Catfish: 11 in min length; Flathead Catfish: 14 in min length); up to 15 fish may be undersized
|Freshwater Drum (Gaspergou): 12 in minimum
|Paddlefish: 30 in max lower jaw to fork length; fish must be alive and must not be harvested by snagging
|Shad: no size limit
During the drawdown, lake users are advised to use caution, as numerous obstructions normally not seen are present.
This drawdown is a necessary component of LDWF’s integrated management plan to control overabundant aquatic vegetation growth and to improve access for recreational activities. An annual cycle of high and low water fluctuation can provide beneficial effects similar to a natural overflow lake system.
Reminder Regarding the Upcoming Waterfowl Season: recreational fishing is permitted, only after 2 p.m. during waterfowl season, and during early teal season, recreational fishing is allowed only after 10 a.m.
For additional information regarding the drawdown, contact Brad Launey, LDWF Biologist Manager, at email@example.com or 337-735-8712.