Steve Shows has been in contact with the LDWF. Below are the e-mails to date.
Current here and 9-13-07 to 3-13-08 here

DATE: 04.08.10
PHONE: 318.965.1755



District 36 State Senator Robert Adley (R-Benton), and Representatives Henry Burns and Jean Doerge met with state and local officials to finalize a unified plan to combat the invasion of Lake Bistineau by giant Salvinia. Salvinia is an invasive water weed that is severely restricting recreational activity, reducing property values and threatening to choke life out of waterways across Louisiana. Sen. Adley arranged a meeting at the State Capitol in Baton Rouge this week with Mark McElroy, Biologist Program Manager with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), to discuss a new and unified effort.

"Giant Salvinia is a problem for our state that has grown in severity over the last few years," said Sen. Adley. "Everyone at this meeting is excited about a unified, objective oriented plan. While initial control efforts have not been successful in the past, we feel confident that a collaborated effort between state officials, local officials and government agencies will not only control the plant, but also restore life to the lake and the surrounding community."

Giant Salvinia is an exotic water weed imported from Brazil, probably as a decorative water garden plant, that was released into a state waterway and spread. It first appeared in Louisiana in 1996 and has been exploding across the state. It is a non-native species and there are no natural controls to halt its spread. It is highly invasive and can double in size every five to seven days. The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says that much of the weed was frozen and reduced during winter but is back up to at least one acre and continuing to spread on Lake Bistineau. Thirteen lakes in Northwest Louisiana have been affected by the damaging plant.

In the plan, measures to control the plant include fluctuating the water level by opening and closing the gates at the water control structure to strand and dry the plants, modifying the lake bed contour, and adjusting the existing water control structure and dam to create the ability to skim plants from the surface and increase ease in fluctuating water levels. Additionally, LDWF will work with Trailblazer, a non-profit corporation, to communicate their efforts and enlist public involvement . Sen. Adley, LDWF and local officials are holding a public meeting on April 17, 2010 at 9 a.m. at the State Park Area #1 Boat Launch Pavilion. The public is encouraged to attend and voice their concerns and comments.

The Lake Bistineau Rehabilitation Plan will be available on LDWF's Web site,

Caption - Officials on both the local and state level met Wednesday, April 7 to finalize a plan aimed at controlling Giant Salvinia and restoring Lake Bistineau. Pictured from left to right: Mark McElroy, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries; District 10 State Representative Jean Doerge; District 9 State Representative Henry Burns; District 36 State Senator Robert Adley; Billy Montgomery, representing the Bossier Parish Police Jury; Webster Parish Police Juror Steve Ramsey; Bobby Garrett; and Webster Parish Police Juror Jim Bonsall.

The following is posted on the Lake Bistineau information page at

April 12, 2010

There will be a public meeting to discuss the Lake Bistineau Rehabilitation Plan at the Lake Bistineau State Park, Area 1, Boat Launch Pavilion on April 17, at 9 a.m. Mark McElroy from LDWF will attend the meeting to discuss aspects of the plan and answer questions.

Those planning to attend the meeting are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the plan posted below.

Lake Bistineau State Park
103 State Park Road, Doyline, LA 71023

[cid:image002.gif@01CADB02.270D21B0]318-745-3503 or 888-677-2478 toll free

Jeannine James
Legislative Assistant to
Senator Robert Adley
Ph: 318-965-1755
FAX: 318-965-1757


I note with substantial concern there has been no posting on the
website (since Oct 20) about progress that you are making in the planning
for salvinia control. As I recall, the plan was initially targeted for
completion around labor day! Now, based on the last publication, you
are waiting on the water to recede to finalize the plan. Mark, from my
perspective the only positive activity associated with salvinia was the
substantial flooding that we recently experienced...147.6ASL. Unless
your plan includes some attack on the backwater areas that do not drain
even during the drawdown, we are in the same cycle. The backwater areas
will serve as an incubator and salvinia will recover within a few
months of returning to normal levels. I and many of my colleagues
become so frustrated when we sense that NOTHING is going on concerning
salvinia and NOTHING going on is fueled by the absence of a current
update from your office.
I certainly hope all enjoy the Thanksgiving spirit

Steve J. Shows 11-27-09

I'll be in the area tomorrow and Wednesday.

Mark 10-20-09

We last had an email exchange regarding the "plan " almost a month
ago...can you please provide a current status?

Steve J. Shows  10-20-09


New information regarding water quality issues are being investigated
this week as well as conducting a meeting with Bienville Parish
officials regarding several issues. Much of this information will need
to be included in the Plan. Completing the 1st version of the Plan
around Labor Day was a target----which we obviously didn’t meet, and
shouldn’t surprise anyone once they understand the issues being
investigated. When the Plan is completed, it will be reviewed and
meetings will be set. In consideration of the funding requirements
outlined in the Plan, the legislative delegation will be consulted in
the first meeting should the Plan be approved by the Secretary. No, I
don’t have a time frame as to when the other meetings will be set.
Believe me, I can’t wait to explain the Plan and concept behind it to
the public. All I can request is that folks have a little faith and

Mark  9-20-09


The last email exchange that we had concerned the availability of "the
plan" my recall is that the plan was targeted for somewhere around the
labor day holiday for publication...obviously, that didn't
happen...what is the current projection?

Steve J. Shows 9-20-09

I suspected salvinia to continue to expand when I decided to curtail all herbicide treatments a few weeks ago for many reasons.  The drawdown will begin on the 8th of September.  Let’s see what effect the drawdown has.
I have meetings set up in the area with several individuals and or entities on Wed and Thurs.  More meetings are set for next week.  The meetings are important to my understanding of all the particulars.  Many of the issues are complex and demand extensive investigating.  I anticipate a first draft of the plan to be completed by the 2nd week of September. 
The only thing I want to add to the web site this week are a few more question and answers.  I will not expose elements of the plan on the site prior to its completion and approval (until they’re approved, they’re not approved).  I’m sure that’s not what you wanted to hear, but that’s the way it has to be.  I’m not interested in turning my work on the plan into a chat room.  Let me finish my work and eventually everyone will understand what I’ve been up to.
Mark 8-18-09


Almost 30 days have passed since it was identified that you would become the "salvinia czar" on Lk. Bistineau.  Since that time, discussions have revolved around development of short and long term plans and that  primary communications would be channeled through the LWF the meantime, Salvinia has continued to grow at a rapid rate.  Is there an established date for completion of these plans? Also, the data on the website is dormant ..there's been no update in several weeks

Steve J. Shows 8-18-09

Without appearing to shoot at every idea that comes my way (and there are many) via emails, I will respectfully listen and consider the concept while we seek the long term approach.  I will tell you that the plan to gain control of giant salvinia, or any aquatic weed issue is best resolved using a comprehensive approach.  Spraying, by itself, is ineffective and an unreasonable approach.  Simply flying over the lake will make my case on this point.  As far as the oil spill analogy, I would suggest that the concept, while sounding good to those not familiar with all the issues, does not work here for more reasons than I care to go in to here.  The problem is much more complex than most believe. 
Thanks for the comments and ideas,
Mark 7-30-09

That is correct.  This decision was based on several factors.

Mark McElroy 7-23-09


Thanks for the timely response.  We will look forward to the completion of your the meantime, is it correct that spraying herbicide has been discontinued until the lake is lowered?

Steve J. Shows 7-23-09

Thanks for the comments.  The work on the web site is just starting and there will be new information added each week.  I am confident that information as to what the department plans to do to control giant salvinia can be conveyed via this site, new releases and public meetings.  I am in the early stages of plan development and will require a few more weeks to at least prepare a draft for Secretary Robert Barham primarily due to the fact that I don’t have all the information I need to make sound decisions, yet.  I will continue to meet with individuals and groups/organizations in the area on weekly basis in my efforts.
Thank you for the work you do to keep those folks interested in L. Bistineau informed

Mark McElroy 7-23-09

Good morning, I am Steve shows and along with 2 associates,  try to maintain communication with some 200 very interested Lk, Bistineau advocates concerning the salvinia efforts. We invite you to visit   which contains a substantial history of exchanges between our small group , LWF and our mailing list. James Seales has been our primary contact over the last 3 years.  Further, our group organized the original community meeting (over 300 attendees) at Koran Baptist church in August of 2007.  Unfortunately, there has been no visible progress related to salvinia eradications since that time.  Today, from my vantage point on the lake, the Salvinia has won.  I live on the intersection of the 2 largest and most open areas of the lake, Gregg Lake and Catfish pond.  Yesterday and this morning 50%(hundreds of acres) of what should be water is salvinia.  There has been no spray activity in weeks.  Is it LWF intention to not spray preceding the drawdown? If so, LWF credibility could be enhanced by communicating that to the citizenry.  And, if true , the spillway should be opened today to allow more time for dewatering! ...the drawdown tends to remove more salvinia by allowing it to exit through the dam than anything else that has been done!  I am forwarding a plan initially construed by Randy Person (see below), a lake resident, which I believe you received directly earlier this week.  Segmenting the lake, having the ability to drawdown below the 7 foot limitation appear to have merit and should be given appropriate attention...I understand that you are now the person to do that! 
"I live on the lake and have to deal with this problem as well as everyone else around here.  I'm going to give you what I believe is the only solution to our problem.  While I believe the people working on the (hands on) labor aspect of ridding the lake of the salvinia are doing an admirable job,  the overall plan is flawed.  After all, we've got the government in charge of it.  They are trying to deal with 19 miles of lake.  If you had this stuff in your swimming pool you could get rid of it.  How you ask?  Because it is confined to a manageable area and it can't float away without hitting a barrier.  You could either harvest it or spray it.
1:  The weevils they are putting into the lake are a waste of time and money.  They will never eat up all the Salvinia.  There will always be some left over and the weevils will starve themselves out without food and will die off.  The salvinia will then outgrow the remaining weevils left in the lake to start the cycle all over again.
2:  This will only work if the spray actually kills the plant and not just stunts the growth.
3:  Let the lake down to the original channel.  Blow the dam and let nature take care of it.  This stuff cannot hang around in moving water.  Yes it will be expensive to rebuild the dam but look at what we are spending now.
4:  Option 2:   Let the lake down as far as possible.  Take 3 booms that will extend all the way across the lake.  Start anywhere you like.  String the booms across the lake dividing it up into 3 sections of manageable size.   Allow no fishing boats to cross the barriers. Take all the spray boats and harvesters and work one area until it is completely free of the plants.  Let the prevailing winds help blow the plants into the booms or against the banks.  Do not leave this area until it is clean.  Once clean, move to the next section and do the same.  Once the second area is clear move the lower boom up the lake to the next manageable section.  Continue on up the lake until all has been cleared.  Making sure to hit all surrounding low pockets that would hold the plants until the lake was raised releasing the plants back into the lake.
What they are doing now is just hit or miss.  They spray this area and tomorrow the winds change and blow the stuff everywhere and the plants take over the same area again and they think they have already taken care of it and move onto somewhere else.  This is a total waste of money.  The above plans are the only way to take care of the problem.  They are just trying to bite off more than they can chew when all they have to do is take smaller bites.  Some people say, well you can't spray around every tree.  That's bull.  If you shrink the size of the area enough, you can. Think of the swimming pool.  I have thought many times about quitting my job and clearing the lake myself if the gov. would pay me cost plus.  I would retire with a pocket full of money and we wouldn't have this mess on the lake.

Spend the money to clean it up or let it go. The lake is terminal as it stands now anyway.  There are only the two ways I listed before to clean it up and that's it.  You might spray it from helicopters but that will not get it all.  Whatever they do I hope they don't start cutting trees.  That's just plain stupid.  How do you clean up a large oil spill?  Answer........ You contain it, vacuum it up and spray it.  Ask any oil spill company.  They will tell you the same thing.  As far as the lake being free flowing.  You can cut a new small channel in the lake bed with a pipeline ditching machine from one end to the other in just a couple of days.  The natural erosion of the current from the north will widen it.

I have yet to hear any other plan that made sense.  Have you?

I look forward to your response.  Finally congratulations on establishment of the link on the LWF'a good first step; however, the content is the important ingredient and the content contained today is old news.  The focus should be on what's being done, what is planned and what are the milestones.. ..three years of LWF activity have not yielded visble improvement.  I look forward to your timely response

Steve J. Shows 7-23-09

It is too early to tell for sure about the effects of the Galleon application, the Sepro representatives will be on the lake later this week taking a look at the salvinia.  It is promising that we have not had any significant rainfall, so the Galleon should not have flushed out of the intended treatment areas, and hopefully the herbicide concentrations can be maintained for the required 60 – 90 day contact time for maximum effectiveness.
Over 78,000 lbs of weevil infested giant salvinia has been stocked in Lake Bistineau during the past two weeks, estimates are that this material held over 1.8 million adult weevils.  Approximately 50 LDWF personnel from across the state were involved in harvesting, transporting, and stocking the weevil infested salvinia in this massive two week long effort.  The weevils were stocked in a protected area which has harbored salvinia for over two years and will retain water during the drawdown.
The District 1 spray crews have been heavily involved in preparing for and conducting the Galleon application and stocking weevils for the past 3 weeks so there has not been as much spray activity as normal on Bistineau.  We do plan on bringing additional spray crews to assist in the near future.
In response to the discussion during the meeting with Secretary Barham, there were several ideas that were discussed and some have sufficient merit to warrant further investigation.  These include the capability to further dewater the lake during a drawdown past the 7’ drawdown capabilities we currently have and some discussion by the police juries concerning thinning the cypress timber in certain areas of the lake. 
James Seales
District 1 Fisheries Biologist Manager 6-29-09


Please provide an opinion of the Galleon application, at this early date, is there an overall opinion regarding success potential?  Is the relocation of weevils still underway and what is the magnitude of the effort? where are they being placed?.. I haven't noticed any activity...weevil placement and/or herbicide spraying in several weeks! In a monthly civic meeting there was discussion concerning a meeting that local officials had with Sec. Barham and some other politicos last week wherein several thoughts (draining of the lake to the maximum extent,, increasing salinity, etc. ).  what do you know of these discussion or , in particular , any speciific results that may be coming forth?

Steve J. Shows 6-22-09

Please find attached (CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD ATTACHMENT) a synopsis of the giant salvinia problem on Bistineau and LDWF’s efforts thus far and plans for this year.
As I indicated earlier the Galleon application will take place tomorrow and we plan on starting large scale movement of weevil infested salvinia from Gheens next week. Other than the drawdown, other activities are still in the planning stage.
We do not actively politic for funding, but will work with other organizations in their attempts to secure outside funding.
Hope this information is helpful. (CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD ATTACHMENT)
James Seales
District 1 Fisheries Biologist Manager 6-10-09


I'm looking at Catfish pond and Gregg lake and both have a very large amount of Salvinia floating about...not quite as bad as when you saw it 2-3 weeks ago; but not passable in a normal outboard motor because of clogging the water intake and overheating...WLF has been responsive and for the most part has performed commendably in difficult circumstances ; however, it is NOT ENOUGH!  I think just from casual observation that salvinia is winning and we are in a crisis situation with the primary growing season just beginning.  Spraying must be intensified!  If we can help by addressing the situation with the legislature for additional resources (spray crews, the consolidated spray crew effort as was done last year, etc.) then, we are ready and more than willing to initiate that action.  We can and will play those cards with LWF participating or if you feel it not politically correct to actively participate then we will act independently.  Please let us know the near term plan for intensification and your position concerning the pursuit of legislative involvement by June 10 so that we can correctly organize our campaign.  Thank You

Steve J. Shows 6-1-09


Spray crews continue in this general area with primary emphasis on the South end of Catfish pond.  It's absolutely horrible in that area. I boated out today and the mouth of Spring branch where the barrier has been installed is very bad.  It does appear the barrier is doing some good in keeping the mess from entering Spring Branch.  All around Our Place Bar Grill is very bad and the big Memorial Day event will draw even more negative comments from the Lake users because of the event being so close to the water.  I understand that the salvinia washing over the spillway is significant.

Steve J. Shows 5-20-09


At least 2 spray crews were dispensing herbicide on and around Fairview point on 5/18 and 5/19 and seemed to concentrate on the bank line between the roadway/levee leading out to my house and Camp Joy.  This same area may be an excellent candidate for the Galleon application.  It was great to see such an expedited response to our sincere appeal.  I understand Mother Nature has also been favorable by washing a tremendous amount of Salvinia over the spillway during this "high" water period.  We need all the help we can get. Thanks,
Steve J. Shows 5-19-09


Thanks for the responsiveness, as of Sunday, the NE winds has the Salvinia scattered; however, there are enough patches to warrant spray activity plus the bank line between the levee coming out to Fairview pt and all the way to Camp Joy needs major spray activity

Steve J. Shows 5-15-09

I plan on sending the crews your way on Monday.  Please let me know what you see.  I looked at your area today and you are correct in that it is really bad right there, we had a lot of salvinia flush out of the area around the State Parks and the wind is pushing it north when it hit the open water areas.
James Seales
District 1 Fisheries Biologist Manager 5-15-09


As I look to the South from Fairview point, I am estimating the salvinia is solidly covering this area of the lake from the north bank of Catfish pond to Spring Branch and from the channel in Greggs lake to the east bank of Catfish pond...or, as another perspective 50-70% of Catfish pond is covered with Salvinia ...I have not seen , heard  or had any reports of spray activity !  It would seem to me this would be an ideal time to encapsulate this area with the boom material; for heavy dosing with herbicide in a dormant corral.  When will the contract sprayers begin and where?  What about the mechanical harvesting?  I have read your estimates of 1500 acres of salvinia coverage , at this time.  Candidly, I think that is an understatement.  If more aggressive treatments are not undertaken, we will not be able to use the lake because of salvinia NOT because of the lake drawdown potential.  This morning is as bad as I've seen from this vantage point. 

Steve J. Shows 5-15-09


The predominate southerly winds in this area have pushed large mats of giant salvinia into several areas of the lake where it is causing many problems.  There is currently approximately 1500 acres of giant salvinia on Bistineau, and much of it is in very noticeable locations and impeding boat traffic and access for shoreline property owners. 

LDWF has five spray crews in the District with two crews assigned to Bistineau. We may also pull in additional crews from other areas of the District in the next few weeks to assist on Bistineau as we have done previously.  We also are getting some new surfactants on contract in the near future which are supposed to be more efficient and increase the effectiveness of the foliar herbicide applications.
 I received notice yesterday that a work order for the private contractor to begin spraying and he will likely begin spraying in the next week or two.  This contract is for treatment of 800 acres of giant salvinia on Lake Bistineau which will supplement what our crews spray. 
Due to travel restraints no large-scale applications as was conducted last year are planned.  We may utilize a few additional crews from other areas of the state, but I will not have all the crews available as was done last year.
Plans are to test a new herbicide, Galleon, in a couple of coves or isolated pockets on the lake,  this herbicide requires a long contact time (60 days minimum) with the giant salvinia so it is not well suited for areas where there is a lot of water exchange as the concentrations will become quickly diluted in the water and be ineffective.
We are waiting to see how effective the contractors, the new herbicides, and new surfactants are prior to deciding on any drawdown plans. 
Hope this information is helpful.
Here are few other things that I know that are not mentioned in this letter:

Billy Montgomery has been working hard to get the Parishes (Bossier, Bienville, & Webster) to participate. He is asking that they pay for contract spraying on the lake which would supplement the job currently being done by LDWF. My sources tell me that Bossier is willing but the other two Parishes say they have no money for this. Bossier is not willing to do this alone which is understandable. The wind blows this weed around so what is in Webster Parish today might float over to Bossier tomorrow. We need them all to help us!  I think it is time to put pressure on the Parish officials.

As the letter states, 2 spray boats are assigned strictly to Bistineau. They spray Monday - Thursday every week weather permitting. Now that I live on the lake and work from home much of the time, I have personally seen them spraying on many occasions. As you can see...that is not enough.

I have seen aerial photos showing the Salvinia last July when it was estimated to cover 4500 acres and from January when the gates were closed showing approximately 1500 acres of coverage. The photos are convincing that the drawdown helped. The majority of the people I have spoken with around the lake feel as I do that if we have to have another drawdown hopefully it can be from Labor Day to late winter instead of July to late winter. I have talked with LDWF about this and I feel they will be agreeable to that. That will give us all a couple more months on the lake.

LDWF has 2 real and manpower. It doesn't look like either is coming from the State. I believe James Seales and his crews at LDWF are doing EVERYTHING they can do with what they have. I have met with him on many occasions and he is as mad at this stuff as we are!

That is all I know for now...hopefully good new is coming.

Pete Camp
James Seales
District 1 Fisheries Biologist Manager 5-12-09


I am forwarding another email from a concerned lake user.

Dear Mr. Adkins,
     My name is Charles Sale and we have had property on Lake Bistineau for the last 55 years. The salvinia has taken over my entire lakefront---out past the end of my pier which is 356 feet long----and I am unable to take out a ski boat or fishing boat. Can you give me the email address of the person who oversees the spraying so I can make them aware of my severe problem.
I am south of Clarke's Bayou on the west side and barely Southwest of Brim Island.
Thank you,
Charles Sale

Steve J. Shows 5-09-09


I am forwarding another email that basically echoes what we've been suggesting for months!  I beg to know what is going on. What is the spray crew configuration (one time, I recall it was stated that 4 full time crews were assigned to this district and this would be supplemented by contract sprayers. what is the status!)  mechanical harvester? other planned events?  the massive spraying effort as was done last year bringing in multi crews from around the state ...casual observations made by frustrated residents are identifying the problem magnitude and begging to know what the LWF is doing and/or planning to do...may we please have an answer in a very short period so that the lake users can be informed...It seems worse everyday? 

Mike and Pete,

I just wanted to add some pictures and comments to Mr. Neel Hearberlin's email from Monday and ask that you forward them to Mr. Seales and/or Mr. Shows:

1.  The attached pictures were taken from our place which is just south of Blazer/Shady Point on the east bank of the lake around channel marker 70.  Our shoreline is directly across from Bird Island.

2.  This area is right on the main channel.

3.  The pictures were taken around 5:30pm on Monday 5/4/09.  There was virtually no build-up here when I left the lake on Sunday evening 5/3/09 about 6:30pm.  Therefore, this all accumulated in less than 24 hours from an unusual west wind after Sunday's storms.  Bird Island has been choked for weeks, so the wind has hopefully just temporarily pushed it across to us, but it's there-waiting/growing.

4.  The dam area does look great, but Bird Island North is going to be impassable, even on the main channel, before much longer.  The area where Clarks Bayou and the channel connect has been clogged for a good while which surprises me because that is the way to the State Park.  Continuing north up the channel it just gets worse.

5.  I have spend a significant amount of time on the lake in the last few weeks and have not encountered one spray crew.

6.  I believe that we have had extremely consistent/strong south winds recently which have pushed the Salvinia toward the north end of the lake.  This may be a good thing for spraying as the prevailing winds should continue to be from the south and keep it toward the north end of the lake for the summer (if I am not mistaken).  The southern end will be hit hard when the winds shift after the summer.

7.  I would like to know if any spraying was done while the lake was let down since last summer.  Dropping the lake level does not appear to have been very effective.

8.  I would request a full report be made available to the public.  It should include the area of lake covered by Salvinia at present, the steps taken so far including their results, the plan for the future, etc. 

We need to get aggressive and creative.  For example, I have believed for a long time that we need to get the property owners more involved from a manpower standpoint.  I know several of my neighbors would be glad to spray this stuff when it invades our area of the lake.  I bet others would do the same.  I would like to hear if that approach is possible or an explanation if it is not.  I have seen several e-mails in the past regarding trouble filling positions due to what sound like bureaucracy to me.  This is not acceptable.  If LDWF can't get the manpower up here, they can at least organize volunteers in my opinion.

All I know is, we are losing this battle as far as I am concerned.  It is sad.

We need to turn up the burners on this!
"Click" on a picture for a larger view!


Robert Dean


Steve J. Shows 5-05-09


Some graphics of increasing salvinia appears to be returning with a vengeance.  This morning around fairview pt. the salvinia coverage is as bad as it's been in quite a while

Please forward this message to Mr. James Seales.
I recently asked for a chemical cost tracking report on where the Aquamaster and the Galleon is being sprayed. The lake could be broken down into 4 or even 2 or 3 parts to show the tracking. I've been traveling home across the dam and the southern part of the lake looks like it is in great shape and salvinia free. There are always LDWF personnel at the boat launch on the east end of the dam. This has created a weed free show piece for people to see as they travel along the dam and see what a good job the spraying is doing. This is all well and good. The only bad thing is the public can not see, from their vehicles, what the condition of the lake is from the central to the northern part on up past Port of Bistineau. These areas are covered. Most people come to launch their boats and turn around and go home after they see what they're up against. �I've seen 1 spraycrew up here in the past 2 years. Attached are pictures of what I saw this morning. (5/4/09) I'm going to show these pictures to more interested parties to see if we can't get help on this end of the lake before it's too late. These pictures were taken from Blazer Construction's recreation park, Shady Point, south down the channel. Let's move the work zone on up the lake. Please keep the people informed of what's going on. "Click" on a picture for a larger view!

Neel Heaberlin 5-04-09

Steve J. Shows

This response was sent in response to another e-mail from Mr. Rodgers but also covers what is in this version.
Mr. Rodgers,
I can’t advise you to spray the lake yourself, and the herbicide you mentioned, Roundup, is not approved for aquatic use.  Certified aquatic herbicide applicators may make applications provided they coordinate with our Department their application plans.
We have 2 spray crews assigned to Lake Bistineau, and we are in the process of supplementing their efforts with contract herbicide applicators to make additional foliar herbicide applications.  We are also identifying areas to test a new herbicide, Galleon, which is applied to the water and kills the salvinia slowly over a period of time provided herbicide concentrations remain high enough in the treatment areas.
I will pass this information along to our spray crews.
If I can be of further assistance to you please let me know.

James Seales
District 1 Fisheries Biologist Manager 4-28-09


Please give us some feed back, thanks.

Mike, I have reported the salvinia along the shoreline of Hurricane Bluff (west side about a mile north of dam) several times and still have seen no spraying.  The salvinia is greening and based on last year will cover the open water when the weather warms.  Please continue to advise proper persons of this problem.  The salvinia is not everywhere but hangs out in coves and against boats and points.  My address is 380 Hurricane Bluff and my boathouse and pontoon boat have salvinia all the time as I am on a point and collect the weed regardless of wind direction.  It would seem that it could be controlled in the next weeks as the area to be sprayed is still small.  Is there an approved chemical I could spray on it myself??? Thanks for your work, Jim Rodgers.

Steve J. Shows 4-23-09


Since I'm somewhat vocal when not seeing a spray crew, it is equally important that I recognize effort when it happens....and, it happened today...I was in boathouse and the crew came by and was performing what I thought was good spray coverage...thanks

Steve J. Shows 4-1-09


Attempting to keep you aware of lake resident sentiment....FYI, I haven't seen any spraying in several least the high water will wash some of it over the spillway !!

My name is Larry Rodgers.  I live on Bossier Slough, right behind Scout Island.   I have read that the salvinia is not as bad as it was in the past, but from where I live it is worse than it ever was.  Is there any spraying going on?   I never see any, and I am on the lake quite a bit.

Steve J. Shows 3-31-09


I am in receipt of your e-mails, however I have not had time to respond
and am pushing other things aside for a little while in order to respond now.

The gates on Bistineau were closed this past Monday by DOTD with
assistance from LDWF in removing logs from the gate openings.

LDWF plans on continuing foliar herbicide applications with District 1
spray crews on Bistineau. We also plan on bringing in other crews from
different parts of the state this spring, but will not be able to bring in all
the crews at once due to budget constraints regarding travel expenses.  We will
likely be able to only bring in 3 to 4 additional crews at a time in an effort to
stay on top of the giant salvinia prior to its growth rapidly accelerating as
the weather warms.

You are correct in that the drawdown has been beneficial in reducing
the coverage of giant salvinia, we had approximately 4500 acres immediately
prior to the drawdown and now have 1000 - 1500 acres of coverage.  Herbicide
applications continued throughout the drawdown but the actual drying and desiccation
of the plant material provided the greatest benefit. This is still a lot of
giant salvinia to contend with but we are pleased that we did see a
significant reduction during the drawdown.

We plan on continuing to move the weevils to new locations as
populations increase, but it will take several years to get them established
throughout the lake and then we are not sure what level of control they will provide,
but hopefully will at least weaken the plants and slow the growth as we
have observed in several of the weevil enclosures on the lake.

Budget cuts and hiring freezes are adversely affecting our herbicide
control efforts, we currently have two vacant positions which will not be
filled in the foreseeable future and travel restrictions likely will prevent a big
push with all the crews at one time as we did on two occasions last year.

We will be experimenting with mechanical harvest and removal and see
what applications it may have in our control program.  We recently received
a shoreline conveyor made to transport plant material from the water onto
land or into a container. The aid of the police juries will be enlisted during
this efforts to help transport the material.

We also recently got 4000' of oil spill containment boom, this will be
used to hold salvinia in an area where it can be sprayed, and possibly to help
keep salvinia off of the boat ramp at the state park, so visitors can launch
and load their boats without undue risk of transporting the material to other lakes.

We do plan on utilizing contract sprayers more this year as we are
working on revising the contract so more vendors are interested in bidding.  The
ability to utilize contract herbicide applications will be of great benefit in our
efforts to control giant salvinia on Lake Bistineau.

On a brighter note we moved into our new office last week and though we
have been experiencing some phone and computer issues we are serving the
public from our new location on Hwy. 80, 3 miles west of Dixie Inn.

James Seales 2-5-09
District 1 Fisheries Biologist Manager


Perhaps, there has been communication in addition to this November 10
email...I don't remember ; however, the rumors are rampant around the
lake concerning what is being done , what will be done , etc. and ,in
my opinion, this unnecessary and inflammatory chatter is a direct result
of LDWF not effectively communicating with the citizenry as has been
recommended all the way back to our original "town hall" meeting in
August of 2007. On a more positive note , it appears to me the salvinia
population has been reduced...the concern is what's going to happen
when weather and lake level returns to normal more growth friendly
conditions. Does LDWF have a plan in place to vigorously attack with
maximum spray crews before the salvinia growth begins? This would seem
to be a reasonable approach! If not, what is the plan? Are the gates
closing on January 31? If not, when?

Steve J. Shows 1-29-09


The gates on Bistineau were shut last week by DOTD, we are continuing
with our plan of fluctuating the water level in an effort to allow the
salvinia trapped in the trees to float out to areas that can be
dewatered. We plan on letting the lake come up a couple of feet and
then monitoring the salvinia and where it is located prior to
requesting DOTD open the gates again. There is currently
approximately 750 to 1000 acres of giant salvinia remaining on
Bistineau at this point. Herbicide applications by District 1 crews
are ongoing on Bistineau. We now have 11 sprayer technicians, which
leaves us one person short of having 6 crews operating. Efforts are
continuing to fill the remaining position.

James Seales 11-10-08
District 1 Fisheries Biologist Manager


I would like to provide you with an update on Bistineau.

Crews from District 1 are continuing to make herbicide applications on
Lake Bistineau in all areas of the lake, naturally our applications are
concentrated where there are large concentrations of salvinia that is
accessible by boat. Herbicide applications were made yesterday in
Spring Branch and other nearby areas where the salvinia is now
concentrated. Earlier in the drawdown herbicide applications were
concentrated on the upper end of the lake as that was where the
majority of the salvinia was located at that time.

Several weeks ago there was concern about minimal impact from the
drawdown. Since that time we have seen considerable improvement in the
drying action on the exposed salvinia, hopefully the relatively dry
weather we are experiencing presently will continue and the drawdown
will be beneficial in helping to control the salvinia. You also
inquired about spraying
from 4-wheelers; while some areas could be
accessed with 4-wheelers very little area can be covered in a days time
compared to what can be sprayed by boat. As long as there are areas
that we can reach with our spray boats we will be much more efficient
utilizing our boat mounting spray rigs.

Many of the areas where we have stocked salvinia weevils are showing
some damage to the plants and good weevil numbers. This weevil
infested material is being moved to other areas of the lake to try and
get the weevils established throughout the lake.

I have one new employee scheduled to start on Monday and 4 other new
sprayer positions that we are in the process of seeking administrative
approval to fill the positions with the recommended applicants. Once
these new employees begin work that will give me 12 spray technicians
and will allow us to have 6 spray crews operating in District 1.

James Seales 10-10-08
District 1 Fisheries Biologist Manager


Spray crews from District 1 have continued herbicide applications on
LakeBistineau during the drawdown.  Most of the salvinia is on the north
end of the lake and our efforts have concentrated in this area, but we have been conducting
herbicide applications in other areas of the lake also.

Recent storms have contributed to more salvinia being moved from the
north end of the lake to other areas as the rains have created a current and winds have blown the salvinia around.

Much of the salvinia remains in areas that are not accessible by boat
and cannot be reached to make herbicide applications at this time.

We are continuing to evaluate the situation and if large enough amounts
are found in areas that can be accessed by boat to necessitate bringing in
additional crews from other areas of the state, their assistance will be requested.

James Seales 9-16-08
District 1 Fisheries Biologist Manager


This is a representative sample of concerns expressed by lake
residents over the current state of affairs.

Hey Pete,

I am curious if there is any spraying planned during the draw down.
Spring Branch is seeing more salvinia right now than we've seen in a
year. I realize access by water becomes an issue as the water gets
lower so they are more than welcome to spray from our waterfront.
Please let me know if you hear anything.


Susan falbaum


Personally, I have seen
more salvinia in the last week than at any other time since the
drawdown began...i think the winds from Gustav dislodged large areas of
salvinia on the North end of the Lake and it has down shown up near the
mid point of the lake....please provide comments as to activity
underway or planned so that we may communicate with all of those that
have expressed concerns and those that are about to express concern,

Steve J. Shows 9-15-08


We are still considering shutting the gates and raising the level, and
then dewatering the lake again, but it will be a while before we know
whether we will attempt this or not.  It will depend on how much
salvinia is remaining in the open water and the condition of the
salvinia that is stranded.  We want to make sure that most of the
stranded salvinia is thoroughly desiccated before attempting to cycle
the water level.  Basically we will just have to wait and see how
everything goes.

Hopefully these rains will quit and we can get some good drying action
on the lake bed in the next couple of months.

James Seales 8-19-08
Fisheries Biologist Manager - District 1
Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife & Fisheries


What is the current planning related to a partial refill of the
lake after the initial this still being considered?

Steve J. Shows 8-19-08


The gates were opened on Bistineau this morning by DOTD. The plan is
to lower the lake 2” to 3” per day until it is seven feet below normal
pool. We will then monitor the salvinia that is stranded and allowed
to desiccate, once the majority of the stranded salvinia is dead we may
close the gates and allow the lake to fill up a couple of feet in order
to let the remaining vegetation drift over areas that can be dewatered,
then open the gates again in order to allow as much of the salvinia as
possible to strand and dry out during the drawdown cycle. Herbicide
applications will continue through the drawdown period in areas which
can be accessed by boat and additional crews may be brought in from
other areas of the state if necessary.

Foliar herbicide applications by District 1 spray crews have been
ongoing on Bistineau and other lakes in the district for salvinia
control. I currently have 5 employees assigned to spray duties and
should be hiring 3 more in the next couple of weeks. This will give me
4 fulltime spray crews for District 1. The process has been initiated
to create 4 additional positions on 1 year job appointments which
will bring the total to 6 spray crews for this district.

The lower end of Bistineau is looking much better than it has in a
while, but the upper end has a serious salvinia problem despite ongoing
herbicide applications. Hopefully the drawdown will bring some relief
as much of this area will be dry during the drawdown.

We have been constructing floating weevil enclosures and stocking the
weevil infested salvinia into these enclosures on the lake. We will
also be moving the weevil infested salvinia from our original
enclosures to other areas of the lake which are difficult to spray and
will harbor salvinia through the drawdown. We are seeing good number
of weevils in our samples taken from the enclosures and also noting
damage to the plants.

James Seales 7-15-08
Fisheries Biologist Manager - District 1


From what I understand the weevil population at the location in Gheens
Louisiana has not increased to the point of where there are significant
numbers of weevils to harvest and transport this material at this time.

My personnel have been involved in moving the weevil infested salvinia
in enclosures on the lake to other areas of Bistineau at this time,
including floating enclosures which are designed to fluctuate with the
water levels and sustain the weevils during a drawdown.  We also plan on
transporting additional weevil infested salvinia from Toledo Bend this
summer to Bistineau and other lakes where the salvinia infestation has
become bad enough to justify stocking the weevil infested salvinia and
have areas such as Bistineau that are not accessible for herbicide

We are continuing to spray on Bistineau with crews from District 1.

James Seales 5-28-08
Fisheries Biologist Manager - District 1

Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife & Fisheries

What's happening with the weevil plan previously scheduled for June '08?

Steve J. Shows 5-21-08


Crews from District 1 are continuing to make foliar herbicide applications to giant salvinia on Bistineau as well as other lakes in the district. We are utilizing help from other districts as it becomes available, but currently most of the spray personnel are tied up with problems in their own areas.

The next big step will be the drawdown. We plan on lowering the lake 7 feet beginning July 15. The plan is to dewater the lake a little slower than we had done in the past in an attempt to let the salvinia settle out in place and strand and dry out rather than being pulled out to the remaining open water areas with the current. Once it appears that majority of the salvinia that is stranded has dried out and is no longer viable, then we will close the gates and allow the lake to refill enough to let the salvinia remaining in the open water areas and sloughs spread out over the shallow areas and then dewater the lake again hoping to strand even more of the salvinia and allow it to dry out and die. We may repeat the process more than once during the drawdown period if conditions warrant and the plan proves to be effective. The gates will be closed January 30, 2009 and the lake allowed to refill.

If significant amounts of giant salvinia are present in the channel and other open water areas accessible by boat during the drawdown, foliar herbicide applications will be made in those areas. Crews may be brought in from other areas of the state if the situation warrants the extra effort.

James Seales 5-21-08
Fisheries Biologist Manager - District 1
Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife & Fisheries
1401 Talton St.
Minden, LA 71055


I know the gates are partially opened...When may I expect to
receive information on the other very important questions?

Steve J. Shows 5-21-08

Has DOTD reopened the gates? As I'm sure you know the lake is 2 feet
over the spillway level!
Also, any plans developed for future spraying activity? or, what's
next? What will be done about water/salvinia trapped in sloughs
depressions as the lake level is reduced by 7 feet? How long will lake
be down?
Steve J. Shows 5-16-08


We were able to spray every day except on Thursday. As I indicated in
the e-mail that I responded to yesterday it will be at least a week to
10 days before there is any noticeable effect on the giant salvinia and
even longer to see the total effect of the herbicide application. We
cannot make any assessments of the effectiveness of the applications
until the plants start showing the effects of the herbicide application.

James Seales 4-15-08
Fisheries Biologist Manager - District 1

Hello James,

How many days were you able to spray? I know Thursday was a loss!
Overall assessment of effectiveness?

Steve J. Shows 4-15-08

We were spraying Aquamaster last week, this is a glyphosate herbicide
and it will take at least a week to 10 days to start seeing results on the giant salvinia.

James Seales 4-14-08
Fisheries Biologist Manager - District 1

Hello James,

Please see the forwarded emails and please provide your
comments so that we can pass along to a "satisfied" customer

"Can we ask James how long it
 will take to see results from the spraying?"

I saw a couple of boats from the wildlife and fisheries out the other
day and I asked then if they would spray the area around our boat
houses. They were very nice and they said they would be glad to.
There are 5 families in this area..
I watched them spray and they covered the whole area. I was pleased
with them.
I don't know what they were spraying with but it couldn't be Reward.
This was last Wednesday around noon. Today is Sunday and the growth is
as green as it has ever been.
Has anyone else noticed that the spraying hasn't done any good? I
don't understand why it hasn't done any good. I will continue to watch
and see if it does any good.

Glen Sanders"

Steve J. Shows 4-14-08

Everything is on go for the herbicide applications planned for next
week – April 7 – 11. We will have crews arriving in stages beginning
Monday morning at 9:00 a.m. and continuing through noon, depending on
where the crews are coming from. They will then be led by one of the
District 1 personnel to their assigned work area. We have flagged off
the lake into sections to facilitate keeping up with the crews and
avoid duplication of efforts. The crews will be reassigned on an as
needed basis to different sections via their group leader.

Please understand that this will need to be a very flexible and fluid
plan that can not be charted out ahead of time due to the way the
salvinia is moving due to changes in the wind and water currents in the
lake. I will be glad to try to point you in the right direction to get
some pictures for the web site, but it will take some communication
either the day before or perhaps even during the day you plan on trying
to get the pictures. If you will provide some contact numbers for me I
will try to let you know when we will be spraying in an area that it
may be easy to get some pictures. Otherwise, with 17 crews out on the
lake it shouldn’t be too hard to find a crew if you get out and motor
around some, just please try not to travel too much through salvinia
that has been sprayed as the herbicide may be washed off as you pass
through the plants. The crews will be spread out all over the lake so
I would not expect to get more than one crew spraying at a time in a

I have been in contact with DOTD concerning the repairs to the
headcutting problem in the outflow channel and they indicated that the
bid has been let. They will need to hold the lake approximately 1 foot
below normal pool to facilitate the work and the gates have been opened
to allow the lake to slowly dewater to that level. They anticipate the
work getting started in 4 to 6 weeks and hopefully finished by the
first part of June.

James Seales 4-4-08
Fisheries Biologist Manager - District 1


There are three launches that remain usable during a drawdown, Grice's, Port of Bistineau, and the Webster Parish Public Launch on Dorcheat.  We will utilize these launches for herbicide applications during a drawdown.

The last time I talked to DOTD they indicated that a temporary repair to the headcutting problem should be in place by the end of May, or first part of June.I have not spoken with the in the last couple of weeks to see where they stood with this, but was told that once work begins it should not take long for it tobe completed.

We have held interviews and recommended candidates for some of the vacancies.  I have not heard anything back from this yet, but expect to gain approval soon.

It looks as if we will be getting one additional crew transferred up here (vacant positions), so we will be posting fliers and those positions should beopened to accept applications after allowing for sufficient time for people to become aware of all the steps they must take to be considered for the
positions. You may want to point this out on your web site and have any interested parties contact me for more information.

We have everything ready for the herbicide applications which were initially planned for the next week (March 31 - April 4), but we have postponed due to predicted weather conditions and plan on moving this back a week to April 7-11,of course this is tentative and dependent on weather.

James Seales 3-27-08
Fisheries Biologist Manager - District 1
Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife & Fisheries

Hello James,

I was thinking about the potential for lake lowering and
continuation of herbicide application after the do you
plan to launch the spray boats since all launches (that I know of) will
not provide for water access? Also, I drove over the dam this weekend
and observed the "cut" that needs to be repaired before the lake is
lowered and observed there is no action seems to me this
is going to be a protracted activity simply getting rock and equipment
to the "cut" ! Your thoughts/comments? How is the employment process
going? Is the major herbicide application still scheduled for early

Steve J. Shows 3-25-08


We are hoping to have 19 crews on the lake at one time, but not sure if
all of them will be able to be here due to the obvious problems associated with coordinating this many people (illness, family matters, etc.)

James Seales 3-18-08
Fisheries Biologist Manager - District 1


Are you able to estimate the number of crew boats that will be
involved in this attack?
Steve J. Shows 3-18-08

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