On one hand, you have to think that the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is doing all they can to combat the invasive Giant Salvinia that has essentially shut down Lake Bistineau for several months each year.

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Yet, on the other hand, landowners around the lake and those who simply enjoy all the water sports the lake once offered to visitors from around the world, are up in arms.

A Valid Point From A Lake Bistineau Property Owner

The concern of these people is valid. Quoting a good friend who lives on the lake, "Hey, what they're doing with the drawdowns and spraying, obviously isn't working, so let's find another solution."

It's a good point. According to doi.gov, who got their information from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries:

Giant salvinia was likely introduced to Lake Bistineau on one or more boat trailers during the lake drawdown in 2005.

This means that for the past 17 years, this invasive, aquatic vegetation has been choking the very life out of our beloved Lake Bistineau, and for all intents and purposes, the problem is as bad today as it was when it was first discovered.

At Least Dodie Horton Is Concerned Enough That She Asked

Louisiana Representative Dodie Horton recently posted to her Facebook page, the response she got when she inquired of the LDWF plans to battle this tremendous issue.

I've got to admit that, as an avid bass fisherman and Lake Bistineau lover, I was disheartened to read the response:

"Rep. Horton,
The staff has been working hard on the salvinia issue, and also on Bistineau. Herbicide applications, when combined with the benefits of annual drawdowns, continue to be the best approach to manage giant salvinia coverage on Lake Bistineau. Staff have developed the ability to utilize a couple of new alternatives to our traditional herbicide mixes, and those are showing positive results (one new herbicide mix has been especially effective). We have executed three spray contracts this year on the lake with the hope of keeping the majority of the lake open for maximum access for as long as possible. The effectiveness of the spraying has been good, but there are always problem areas, especially where the trees are so thick that it makes spraying difficult/impossible.
We continue to push forward and look for new and better control methods every day. Our current approach is in no way perfect, but it is our best option to provide as much use of the lake possible. It certainly has helped to have multiple herbicides and mixes at our disposal now. If you would like further details on the herbicides we are using, or the spray contracts we have executed, please feel free to let me know."

Essentially, There's No Change In The Plans

Did that say what I think it said?  If you read the message the same way I did, LDWF's plans are to continue spraying Salvinia and the annual drawdowns.

Outside of some new chemicals they are trying, it's pretty much status quo.

I'm not sure I'm okay with that.  Wasn't it Einstein who said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

Just a thought here, but if these herbicide contractors' pay was performance based, we might see better results, but who am I to think like that?

Someone, somewhere, though they've maybe never come forward, has a plan.  There must be a solution.  It might be radical, it might be expensive, it might even cost us the use of Lake Bistineau for a couple of years, but if we don't do something, my fear is that we'll lose the lake forever.

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