BOSSIER PARISH, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has scheduled a drawdown of Lake Bistineau to help fight the spread of giant salvinia.

The drawdown will take place sometime between July 15 and July 31 in Bossier, Bienville, and Webster parishes.

The drawdown will additionally benefit fisheries production by improving aquatic habitat and reducing the amount of organic matter on the lake bottom.

LDWF’s Lake Bistineau Waterbody Management Plan is designed to provide as much use of the lake as possible prior to water levels dropping.

However, during the summer, salvinia growth is at its peak. Due to the lake’s large watershed and giant salvinia’s rapid growth capability, the likelihood of an effective drawdown is reduced with a later start date.

The public will be notified as soon as an exact date is determined.

Once the water control structure is open, the lake will 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.

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.

An estimated 10,000 acres of water will also remain in the lake during the drawdown.

Boaters can still access the lake during the drawdown from the following public boat launches: Port of Bistineau Launch, Bossier Public Launch, Grice’s and Bayou Dorcheat Public Launch.

Boaters are also advised to use caution during the low water period, as boat lanes will not provide normal clearance of underwater obstructions.

The drawdown is a necessary component of LDWF’s integrated management plan to control overabundant aquatic vegetation growth and to improve the Lake Bistineau sport fishery.

An annual cycle of high and low water fluctuation can provide beneficial effects similar to a natural overflow lake system. Herbicide applications will continue during the drawdown period.