Salvinia Issues Bring on Drawdown for Clear-Smithport Lake in Desoto Parish
Salvinia has brought on changes for another Arklatex lake at the height of summer activity this year. As we've suffered through several years of the essential loss of Lake Bistineau for several months of the year, now Clear-Smithport Lake in Desoto Parish will be drawn down for the same reason.
Well, for that reason and several others, including organic reduction, fish habitat improvement and structural assessment. The drawdown is designed to reduce the further expansion of salvinia as summertime temperatures promote maximum growth.
According to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the dewatering process will begin on July 26, 2021 and the lake should fall at a rate of two to four inches daily until lowered to a maximum drawdown level approximately four feet below normal pool stage.
LDWF further advises they'll hold the lake level down and don't plan to close the gates until January 31, 2022. Though the lake will be down for the entire late summer and fall, LDWF is hoping that closing the gates in late January will allow the lake to refill for early-spring recreational activities.
During the drawdown, an estimated 600 to 700 acres of water will remain open throughout areas of the lake. Boaters may still access the main waterbody from the DeSoto Parish Ramp at the Hwy 509 bridge with small craft only. Boaters are also advised to use caution when on the water, as numerous obstructions will be present that are normally not seen.
Though, we outdoorspeople truly hate this action, most understand that the drawdown is necessary to combat overabundant aquatic vegetation growth and to improve access for recreational activities.
For additional information regarding the drawdown, contact Villis Dowden, LDWF Biologist Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (318) 357-3214.