It won't be long now, Lake Bistineau will soon be reduced to Bayou Dorcheat and an assortment of swamp-like areas.

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Yesterday morning, Monday, July 25, the flood gates were opened on Lake Bistineau by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development in the seemingly endless battle with the invasive Giant Salvinia.

Lots of those who enjoy immediate access to the water as lakeside property owners, will soon have to strain their eyes just to see the water. Of course, to some, the sight of bare ground is a lot better than the unsightly view of areas completely choked with giant salvinia and consider the "annual" drawdowns somewhat of a necessary evil.

LDWF Intends To Continue Drawdowns in Battle With Salvinia

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries initiated the drawdown of Lake Bistineau in Webster, Bossier and Bienville parishes for the purpose of reducing the further expansion of giant salvinia.

If you recall earlier this year, much to the chagrin of Bistineau lakefront property owners, LDWF stated that the drawdowns and a few chemical changes were all part of their future plans to combat the salvinia.

LDWF also states that the "drawdown will additionally benefit fisheries production by improving aquatic habitat and reducing the amount of organic matter on the lake bottom."

How Long Before The Lake Is Completely Lowered?

Though the lake cannot be completely drained, now that the control structure is open, the lake should dewater at a rate of 4 to 6 inches per day until it reaches a potential maximum drawdown level of 8 feet below pool stage.

LDWF does state that the dewater rate could be impacted, however, by local rainfall in the surrounding watershed. During the drawdown, the department will monitor aquatic habitat conditions to determine the best time to conclude the drawdown and allow the lake to refill for early spring recreational activities.

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