Fight Against Giant Salvinia Continues at Lake Bistineau
State Wildlife and Fisheries continues the battle against giant salvinia at Lake Bistineau.
According to a report by Pat Culverhouse, the agency’s Jeff Sibley gave an update to members of the Bistineau Task Force last week, saying roughly 42,000 acres of the invasive weed have been chemically sprayed in the nine years of treatment. Contractors have been back on the lake spraying areas from boats, and weevils are being tested in five sites along the lake.
“It’s like mowing grass…it’s mostly maintenance,” Sibley said. “We open the gates and lower the lake to interrupt the growing season. That way, we won’t have 17,000 acres of salvinia.”
BTF Member at Large Pete Camp said some areas of the lake that have been 100% covered by the vegetation have shown some improvement after weevils were introduced.
“Where there was once a solid mat of salvinia, you can now see water in the canal and gravel pits on the north end of the lake,” he said.
LSU AgCenter Associate Professor Steve Macinski has been researching a strain of weevil that will be able to handle the cold weather of northwest Louisiana. He told task force members the weevils currently being introduced in the lake don’t do well in the winter conditions.