Sunday, October 08, 2017

LDWF taking full fight to Bistineau salvania

At one time, Lake Bistineau was considered one of the five best fishing waters in Louisiana. That was before giant salvania invaded the lake. While salvania is found in nearly every lake in Louisiana, no other body of water (except possibly Caddo) has been ravaged so severely by this floating weed. For over a decade, LDWF has pursued a combination of spraying and drawdowns, but only limited success.

Back in June, the department introduced a third strategy - biological control. LDWF hosted a "Weevil Day" where they provided Bistineau property owners and other volunteers with 115,200 salvania weevils. The weevils have been very effective in consuming the weed, but can be subject to cold weather mortality. This particular batch consisted of weevils that have been bred to cold weather tolerance.

LDWF will continue to employ drawdown and chemical strategies when and where necessary. Currently the lake is under a drawdown since May 1st. Drawdowns quickly kill salvania, but also kill aligator weed which shields the tiny plants from chemical spray. It also helps oxidize shoreline sediments and revives shorelines as prime spawning areas.