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Ivan Lake, a 520-acre waterbody in Bossier Parish created in 1954 by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, was recently surveyed by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Aquatic Plant Research and Control Section. Submerged vegetation was present in severe to moderate amounts in a fringe around the lake out to six feet in depth. The area of the lake approaching the Highway 529 bridge is most severely impacted, with boating access restricted to the creek channel. All submerged species combined cover approximately 25 to 35 percent of the waterbody, with the most problematic species being hydrilla.
Hydrilla is an exotic species that is difficult to control and nearly impossible to eradicate. Hydrilla can usually out-compete native vegetation and when left unchecked, will form monotypic stands of dense vegetation. Hydrilla produces reproductive structures, turions and subterranean turions, from which it can regenerate after control efforts. The subterranean turions, called tubers, are produced up to a foot deep in the hydrosoil where they can remain viable for up to five years. These tubers are resistant to drying especially in heavy clay, organic soils. Dewatering the water bottom stimulates the sprouting of approximately 85 to 90 percent of the existing supply of tubers. The main production of tubers is triggered when periods of daylight fall below 13 hours.Consecutive drawdowns will not only prevent the plants from producing tubers but will also deplete the population of tubers in the water bottom. Several years of drawdowns are necessary to achieve some measure of control on a hydrilla infestation.

Due to the infestation of submerged aquatic vegetation and lack of funding for expensive aquatic herbicides, LDWF is recommending that five consecutive fall/winter drawdowns be considered. Upon acceptance of this recommendation by the Bossier Parish Police Jury and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the gates will be opened September 15, 2003 allowing the lake to fall at the rate of three to four inches per day until it is six feet below pool state. The department will survey the lake after the lake reaches the desired level to assure dewatering of the majority of the vegetation. This six-foot drawdown should continue until January 19, 2004 when the gates should be closed to allow the lake to refill. The department will conduct yearly surveys to monitor vegetation levels and adjust the management plan as necessary.

For additional information, please contact Scott Longman at 337/948-0255




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