Floating Boom in Vernon Lake to Collect and Treat Giant Salvinia

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries deployed 300 feet of nuisance aquatic plant boom on Wednesday, December 21, in Vernon Lake at Twin Bridges on LA Highway 111. With the recent heavy rains, Giant Salvinia previously trapped in the creek and backwater areas north of LA Highway 111 is beginning to wash out into the main lake. The goal of this boom is to hold as much plant material as possible in the cove so that the Aquatic Plant Control Program can apply herbicide more effectively.

The LDWF Inland Fisheries section, which partners with the Vernon Parish Game and Fish Commission to manage fisheries habitat on the lake, would like to caution boaters when crossing over the boom to access areas north of LA Highway 111. When crossing the boom, (1) carefully approach the floating boom at slow idle speed, (2) turn the engine off, (3) lift the lower unit of the engine completely out of the water to clear the prop over the floating boom, and (4) use a paddle or bow mounted trolling motor to help complete the cross over if necessary. Only after completely clearing the boom should the operator lower the prop into the water for continued use.

In addition to the application of herbicide to treat the Giant Salvinia held by the boom, the freezing temperatures over the next several days should also help limit the expansion of this problematic vegetation.

Invasive aquatic plants, such as Giant Salvinia, spread rapidly and can threaten the diversity and abundance of native plant species as well as the ecological balance of lakes and ponds. In addition to reducing the quality of habitat for aquatic life, invasive species can limit recreational use of waterbodies for activities like boating, fishing, hunting and swimming.

For additional information about the nuisance aquatic plant boom deployed on Vernon Lake or to report buildup of aquatic nuisance plants in other areas of the lake, please contact Daniel Hill at (337) 735-8699 or dhill@wlf.la.gov. The public can also request assistance with undesired aquatic vegetation occurring in public waterbodies by filling out an online application.