The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has scheduled a drawdown of Saline Lake (Natchitoches and Winn Parishes) for giant salvinia management, reduction of organic muck, 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 open on June 1, 2022, 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 Red River Pool 3 water level. The Saline Lake control gates are scheduled for closure on October 3, 2022, 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 main waterbody from the Mulligan Inn Boat Ramp with small craft, but caution is advised. Caution is also advised when on the water, as numerous obstructions that are normally not seen are present.
This action is a necessary component of LDWF’s integrated plan to manage overabundant aquatic vegetation 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.
For additional information regarding the drawdown, contact Villis Dowden, LDWF Biologist, at (318) 357-3214.