The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) in conjunction with the Saline Lake Commission has scheduled a drawdown of Saline Lake (Natchitoches and Winn Parishes) for giant salvinia control, organic reduction and fish habitat improvement. The drawdown is designed to reduce the further expansion of salvinia as summertime temperatures promote maximum growth.
The water control structure is scheduled to be opened on June 1, 2020, and the lake should dewater at a rate of 4 inches per day. The water level will be lowered to a maximum drawdown level of 8 feet below normal pool stage, depending on the Red River Pool 3 water level. The Saline Lake control gates are scheduled for closure on October 1, 2020, to allow the lake to refill for fall, winter and early-spring recreational activities.
During the drawdown, an estimated 2,500-3,000 acres of water will remain in the lake. Boaters may still access the lake from the Mulligan Inn Boat Ramp with small craft. Boaters are advised to use caution when on the water as numerous obstructions that are normally not seen are present.
This action is a necessary component of LDWF’s integrated management plan to control overabundant aquatic vegetation growth and to improve access for recreational activities. An annual cycle of high and low water fluctuation can provide beneficial effects similar to a natural overflow lake system.
The current LDWF Saline Lake Aquatic Vegetation Control Plan can be viewed at: https://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/resources/category/freshwater-inland-fish/3
For additional information regarding the drawdown, contact Villis Dowden, LDWF Biologist, at (318) 357-3214.