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For the family and friends of 15 year old Hayden Lane Mangum, June 1, 2021 is a date they will never be able to remove from their memory. It was on that date that we lost him to drowning after a boating accident at the Lake Bistineau spillway.

Louisiana Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell believes Hayden might have survived the accident if a safety barrier were installed at this site. In an interview with the Louisiana Radio Network, Campbell said, "The spillway is not marked. We’ve had problems there before. Wildlife and Fisheries ought to pass a rule that every unprotected spillway on a state lake in Louisiana has to be protected."

The safety barrier he's proposing to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries would be much like those that have already been installed at Red River and Toledo Bend.

Campbell says, “And the way they do that is with ropes they put a big rope around it and have floatation devices attached to the rope and people know they can’t go in there it’s a dangerous area. That ought to happen at every spillway in Louisiana.” He goes on to say, “I don’t know why it hasn’t happened in the past but it’s negligence, needless drownings like that can be stopped. So, I wrote the Secretary and told him that this needs to be done and hopefully I’ll hear from him.”

The Secretary, who Campbell refers to, is Jack Montoucet, the Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. In his letter, Campbell requests safety barriers to be installed at spillways on all state operated waterways.

According to Campbell, the cost for the barriers would be nominal. Of course, we know the cost without them, and it's a price no one should wish to pay.

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