The Louisiana Department of Wldlife and Fisheries, in coordination with St. Martin Parish Government, has scheduled a drawdown for Henderson Lake in St. Martin Parish as part of its integrated management plan for aquatic vegetation control.
The southern control structure gates are scheduled to be opened on Monday, August 17. The lake will dewater at a rate of 2 to 4 inches per day until it reaches 3 feet below pool stage. The dewater rate could be impacted by local rainfall in the surrounding watershed. The drawdown gates are scheduled to be closed on November 2, at which time the lake will be allowed to refill.
Houseboat owners are encouraged to take any necessary precautions soon. During the drawdown, boaters will be able to access the lake from the private ramps along the southern levee. Boaters are advised to use caution as numerous obstructions will be exposed or may be present just under the water’s surface.
In addition to the control of overabundant aquatic vegetation, the drawdown will benefit the lake’s fish population by promoting a balanced predator/prey relationship, where forage fish are more available to predator species. The dewatering will also improve spawning habitat by promoting the decomposition of organic materials such as leaf litter and submerged vegetation.
Herbicide applications will continue during the drawdown period.
The Henderson Lake Waterbody Management Plan can be viewed at: www.wlf.louisiana.gov/resources/category/freshwater-inland-fish/inland-waterbody-management-plans.