Hello www.LakeBistineau.com visitors and all people concerned about Lake Bistineau's current Salvinia overgrowth problem. Please feel free to e-mail me (Mike Adkins) mike@LakeBistineau.com or Pete Camp Petejcamp@aol.com with your thoughts, suggestions or information that might help with our problem. I will gladly post helpful information on this page.


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Bistineau Update 4/13/2011
                Lake Bistineau is currently four feet below pool stage due to lack of rainfall after we closed the gates last May. Overall the lake is in good shape. We have less than 20 acres of Giant Salvinia (Salvinia molesta) on the lake at this time. This is due in part to mother natures cold weather as well as herbicide efforts on the part of LDWF. There are a few areas that we are treating new growth or primary stage plants on the lake. They are around Plum Orchard Marina, Toulon area, dam area, as well as the extreme upper reaches of Spring Branch. We have treated a 13 acre beaver pond in the upper reaches of Spring Branch with Sonar AS. This is a water soluble herbicide that treats the entire water column. The results so far are extremely good. The outer area treatments such as the beaver pond and gravel pits are very important to control as they are the feeders to the lakes main water body. If we can control or eliminate the problem there, it will make the main lakes management much more effective.  The permit process is almost complete for individual landowners to remove cypress trees from the lake area close to their property.  I will approve what trees are to be removed prior to any cutting or the permit being issued. We will notify here on the website as soon as those permits are available to be applied for.
                We ask that all landowners on the lake take the time to visit their shorelines and report any new salvinia growth as soon as possible. This is the time of year new sprouts appear and we need to jump on it as quick as possible to help hold back the explosion. This small amount of effort per landowner will greatly decrease the amount of leg work that our personnel has to undertake to simply locate the plants. I would rather our personnels time be spent spraying plant material rather than having to locate it and then spray it. Such a small effort per individual can produce a very large output. When located, please contact me at the email address that follows: ethames@wlf.la.gov
                We would like to have  salvinia workshop at the Minden LDWF office location that will help the general public be able to identify salvinia as well as ask as whatever question they wish concerning the biology of the plant as well as what other plant species resemble salvinia. If you wish to attend a workshop please email me as well so I can set up a time and date, enabling me to contact those interested and notify them when the workshop is scheduled. I recommend that concerned members of the public attend all Bistineau Task Force meeting at the Webster Parish Courthouse every two months.
For any further info contact me at ethames@wlf.la.gov or 318-371-5216
Evan L. Thames
District 1
Fisheries Biologist Manager

February 8, 2011 Lake Bistineau Update

Luckily, Mother Nature is putting a pounding on the giant salvina in Lake Bistineau with sufficient cold weather.  As we observed last year, it takes several weeks for the plants to brown up and fall-out from freeze damage.  So, while giant salvinia  is still visible we expect much of what remains to dissipate by early spring.  Last year our biological staff estimated that only an acre of salvinia remained by “green-up” in early 2010.

We are receiving a lot of inquiries for information about the water levels in 2011.  Our plan is to implement water fluctuations as the plants begin to grow and expand in early summer.  Again, fluctuating the water levels is expected to strand the plants and allow for their desiccation.  Two conditions are required for this method to have desirable results.  First, their needs to be enough water in the system, or capacity to allow for sufficient water level lowering and create stranding opportunities.  Our hope is to fluctuate levels between pool stage to minus 4 feet.  Secondly, we need the plants to be in areas that are susceptible to drying out as a result of fluctuating to lower water levels.  This method is expected to offer the best method for controlling giant salvinia in the lake while saving hundreds of thousands of dollars.  We of course will be spraying aquatic herbicides appropriately.  Hopefully we can use our spraying efforts to keep the plants moving to the edges and out of the trees where matting occurs.  Once the plants mat in the trees they tend to move less and expand in coverage.  In short, it’s impossible to predict when we’ll initiate water level fluctuations.  Everything will be based on the two criteria mentioned above.

I will be providing another update next week.  This update will provide information about continued actions and new initiatives.  I’ll also recap some of the things discussed at the recent task force meeting.

Mark McElroy
Fisheries Biologist

Go Here to see communications with the LDWF
If you want your worthy e-mails to be published on this site and sent to LDWF, please send them to mike@LakeBistineau.com

I received this very interesting e-mail from Randy Person that I think deserves attention.

"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?

Mike Adkins 7-27-09 Please send your thoughts to me at Mike@LakeBistineau.com (corrected 7-28-09)

Hello concerned Lake Bistineau web surfers,

I just received a video link from Mr. James Young that shows some of the Salvinia coverage from a "fly-over" go to YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wH_2V0H3MYo and see Mr. Young's Video.

Mike Adkins 7-6-09

As you have noticed the condition of the lake is deteriorating by the day. The water temperature is perfect for the Salvinia to spread rapidly. I have gotten many inquiries as the what is being done so I thought I would send out this letter to tell you what I know.

A meeting was held a couple of weeks ago at LDWF with Mr. James Seales who is the District Biologist and who has the unenviable task of trying to control the Salvinia. Attending were Billy Montgomery, Richey Jackson, Robert Dean, Daryl Fultz, Joel Thomas, Bruce Barr, John George, Jammie Harrington (representative from Congressman John Flemmings office) and myself. Mr. Seales laid out in detail what is currently being done and what LDWF's future plans are for Lake Bistineau. Honestly the future does not look good if something more is not done. I think we all left that meeting feeling that Mr. Seales is doing everything in his power to control this weed but is VERY limited by money and manpower. It is time for us to take matters in our own hands and find resources to help LDWF.

Since that meeting there have been many other meetings taking place in which there has been some intense brainstorming. These meetings are producing lots of new ideas which are being pursued at this time. I will tell you that any plan that is going to produce REAL results is going to cost a lot of money!!!!!  Therefore, we are also searching for ways to fund these plans. Just to give you an idea of  the kind of money we are talking about, the LDWF is currently spending approximately $24,000 PER WEEK on just chemicals for spraying on Lake Bistineau. This is not even coming close to keeping up with the Salvinia...much less controlling it.

We think it is time to contact our Local, State and Federal Representatives and request their help. As mentioned before, a representative from Mr. Flemmings office attended the meeting and is providing some very good information which we hope will help. Bossier Parish has been very helpful in supplying some of the chemicals used by LDWF. However, NONE of the other elected officials or governing bodies seem interested. Lets get them interested!!!!!

I am providing email address for the State Senator and Representatives for this area.  Please take a minute and email them. Also contact the Webster and Bienville Parish Police Jury. This weed is already in many lakes in the state and will eventually be in all of them. This will no longer be the Sportsman's Paradise if it is not controlled.

Henry Burns -  burnsh@legis.state.la.us

Jean M. Doerge - larep010@legis.state.la.us

James Fannin - larep013@legis.state.la.us

Robert Adley - adleyr@legis.state.la.us

If you have a suggestion for controlling the weed or a idea as to where we can obtain the much needed funding, please send it to me and I will forward it on to the proper person.

Pete Camp

Here are a few pictures from Robby Bookout 5-15-09 "Click" on a picture for a larger view!

Here is a e-mail from Neel Heaberlin: 5-04-09

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

Capitol Correspondent

Published: Sunday, May 25, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.

BATON ROUGE – The Legislature continues to advance new laws that would allow the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to tackle invasive aquatic species, which are slowly choking waterways around the state.

Earlier this week, the budget-drafting House Appropriations Committee passed legislation to allow the department to start using money from a special account to pay salaries connected to its plant-control program.

Under current law, the money being held in the Aquatic Plant Control Fund can only be used for actual eradication.

But Senate Bill 371 by Sen. Reggie Dupre, D-Bourg, frees up the cash so the department can make the issue a top priority.

“The control of these aquatic species has become a main concern for
Secretary (Robert) Barham, and the department feels we need to take this step,” Dupre told lawmakers.

When an invasive or exotic plant enters a new habitat, there is a possibility it could alter the natural system by competing for resources.

There are some solutions, but they often require strict oversight and research.

Locally, officials are considering introducing a special species of weevil that feeds on salvinia outbreaks, a water weed of sorts that has a pesky-yet-permanent home in Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes.

Aside from hampering boating and fishing opportunities, giant salvinia forms dense mats on the water’s surface, depriving everything underneath it of light and oxygen.

The Legislature has taken a strong stance in the ongoing session.

Most recently, the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget approved an additional $2 million for the department to address the invasive plants, bringing the program budget to $8.4 million.

“From my perspective, the immediate and most urgent task is dealing with these invasive aquatic species,” Barham said. “We’re losing ground, and we have got to ramp up our efforts.”

In a January analysis prepared for Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Republican, by his wildlife transition team, experts say the “problem needs to be constantly monitored or it could cripple commercial and recreational interests.”

Over the last two decades, imported aquatic plants from India and South America, introduced to the U.S. primarily for use in aquariums and water gardens, have established a presence in coastal states due to careless disposal.

The current threats to southern states are now hydrilla, common salvinia and giant salvinia.

In areas where growth has progressed rapidly, boating, fishing and hunting have been affected and, in some instances, municipal and agricultural water supplies are now threatened.

Additionally, property owners on affected waterways have seen diminished esthetic and property values.

“The department has traditionally treated approximately 40,000 acres of nuisance vegetation statewide annually, but our biologists estimate that surface coverage increased 48 percent in 2007 to 735,000 acres,” said Barham. “We must face this problem from the perspective that it will be a long, challenging battle.”

Dupre’s Senate Bill 371 now heads to the House floor, where it could
receive its final hearing as early as this week.

See The Minden Press-Herald recent article about Lake Bistineau's Salvinia problem.

See The Shreveport Times recent article about Lake Bistineau's Salvinia problem.
http://www.shreveporttimes.com:80/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080306/NEWS01/803060312/1002/NEWS  3-6-08

See The Shreveport Times recent article about Lake Bistineau's Salvinia problem. http://www.shreveporttimes.com:80/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080207/NEWS01/802070328 2-7-08

The LDWF has sent us a copy of the flier that they are posting for sprayer positions.
"Go Here to download the Flier" 11-26-07

Pete Camp and I took these pictures this morning of the largest Salvinia formation that we have seen this year in Catfish Pond. "Click on any picture for a larger view"

Catfish Pond is one of the largest bodies of open water on Lake Bistineau. We hope that we never see the day that this body of water is completely covered.  -Mike 11-20-07

The following letter was sent to Henry Burns, the newly elected District 9 State Representative on behalf of our "group".

Good morning District 9 State representative-elect Henry Burns.  Congratulations on your victorious campaign!  I am Steve Shows and along with Pete Camp, we attempt to coordinate concerns of some 400 people that are united in efforts to assure LDWF maintains focus and aggressive planning to properly manage/control giant salvinia, the very invasive, highly undesirable vegetation that is currently prospering on Lake Bistineau. You attended the August 21 community meeting at Koran Baptist Church and heard the rhetoric. Well, Secretary Hammett has stepped down to campaign for a Senate seat leaving an "acting" Secretary that will almost certainly be replaced with someone from the Jindal administration.  We believe it is most important that the new Secretary, LDWF , be someone from N. Louisiana that will have a major interest in eradication of giant Salvinia.  The lake is fast being overtaken with this noxious vegetation and soon there wiil not be a Lake Bistineau as has been enjoyed by generations of families since the late 1930's.  This problem must receive increased attention; not just words!
Also, please periodically review www.LakeBistineau.com and follow the links concerning giant Salvinia which include the latest comments from LDWF.  There are also many pics which certainly convey the magnitude of the problem.  We will certainly need your help in continuing to hold LDWF accountable for the much needed and improved herbicide spraying and other control techniques.  In fact there is data on the web site wherein Gary Tilyou, the administrator of inland fisheries for LDWF talks about resources that will be needed in 2008.  One of their biggest problems today is the ability to hire personnel to staff the spray boats. Many  alternatives, such as prison work release and commercial contract sprayers have been suggested without any known results.  EVERYTHING seems to take an inordinate amount of time!
We thank you for what ,we're sure, will be your support and, again, congratulations on your successful campaign.
Steve Shows
318 987 2435                       Pete Camp
                                           318 469-9986

Here are some pictures that Pete Camp took before and after LDWF recently sprayed in Catfish Pond "Click to enlarge" The spray works! These pictures were taken in approximately the same place. 8-27-07



I would like to personally thank everyone who attended the meeting Tuesday night at the Koran Baptist Church. A special thanks to everyone who made a donation to the church in appreciation for letting us use their beautiful facility. A total of $417 was collected and donated to the church. I think that says alot about the quality of people we have at Lake Bistineau. 

Thanks again,

Pete Camp
Steve Shows 8-24-07

Almost 400 people attended our 1st public meeting about the Salvinia problem. Channel 3 news was there and we were the lead news story on the 10PM news. 
8-21-07 -Mike

Bryant Hammett (Secretary of LDWF)

James Seales (Local District Biologist)

Don Maddox (DOTD)

Steve Shows (Lake Resident & Meeting Organizer)

Spraying in Catfish Pond (Rodgers Marina area) 8-21-07  Click to enlarge.

Pictures that I took 8-12-07 "Click" on any picture for a larger view. -Mike

Bossier Slough

Spillway Bridge

Spillway Bridge

Little Red Chute

Main Channel

Pine Cove

Pine Cove

Pine Cove Marina

Teal Slough

Here is a link to the Shreveport Times article from August 19th. http://www.shreveporttimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070819/SPORTS06/708190303/1044/SPORTS06

Here is a link to the Shreveport Times article from June 30th http://www.shreveporttimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070630/NEWS01/706300360/1060/NEWS01 -Mike

You can get "Reward" (the stuff to kill Salvinia) from:

Red River Specialties
7545 Haygood Rd.
Shreveport, LA  71107

Click here to see where they are located:

-Pete 8-10-07

Go to http://salvinia.er.usgs.gov/ to learn more about the Giant Salvinia.

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