The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries working with the St. Martin Parish Government, the Town of Henderson and the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers are conducting a drawdown on Henderson Lake in St. Martin Parish beginning Wednesday.
The drawdown is part of LDWF’s integrated management plan to control several aquatic nuisance plants including hydrilla, water hyacinth and giant salvinia. The drawdown will also improve sport fish habitat through the drying and compacting of bottom sediments throughout the lake, according to a press release from the department.
The water control structure opened August 1, 2018, and the lake level will be lowered at a rate of two to four inches per day until it reaches the desired height of three feet below pool stage, or six feet mean sea level at the United States Geological Survey Lake Pelba gauge, according to the release. At this level, the flats directly north and south of the I-10 Bridge that experience chronic issues with nuisance aquatic plants will be exposed to air and sunlight.
The drawdown gates are scheduled to close November 1, 2018, to allow the lake to refill for winter and early spring recreational activities.
Although the lake will not be closed to fishing, caution is advised for boaters during the low water period, as boat lanes will not provide normal clearance of cypress stumps and other underwater obstructions.
The current LDWF Lake Henderson Management Plan can be viewed at: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/waterbody-management-plans-inland .