New members were appointed to Bistineau Task Force during its first meeting of 2013.
Don Moore has been appointed as a representative of the Bienville Parish Police Jury and following the meeting it was announced that Bob Brotherton would represent the Bossier Parish Police Jury on the BTF.
Current BTF members present include, Charlie Walker, Jim Bonsall, and Steve Ramsey (Webster Parish P.J.), Elmore Morris (Bodcau SWCD), Greg Wilson and Don Moore (Bienville Parish P.J.), Billy Montgomery, Bill Altimus, and Glenn Benton (Bossier Parish P.J.), David Lowe and Rick Yager (Dorcheat SWCD) and member at large, Pete Camp.
Evan Thames, of Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, updated the task force to Lake Bistineau's status where Salvinia is concerned.
"The lake has an estimated Salvinia coverage of 900 acres and only about half of that is still viable or growing," Thames said. "We are looking at what we can do to better control Giant Salvinia and this is going on at a statewide level."
According to the BTF, a 1995 outbreak in South Carolina was the earliest U.S. record of Salvinia molesta outside of cultivation. After growing across the southern United States,
Salvinia molesta was discovered on Lake Bistineau in February of 2006.
In 2009, Salvinia molesta covered up to 8,000 of Lake Bistineau's 17,000 acres.
A Few Facts About Giant Salvinia
Salvinia molesta, commonly known as Giant Salvinia , is an aquatic fern, native to southeastern Brazil.
It is a free-floating plant that does not attach to the soil, but instead remains buoyant on the surface of a body of water.
Salvinia molesta reproduces by asexual reproduction only, but it is capable of growing extremely quickly, starting from small fragments and doubling in dry weight every 2.2 to 2.5 days. It grows from fragments that have broken off or dormant buds that have been detached from the main plant.
Each node has five buds, so potential for great and rapid spread is high.
State Rep. Gene Reynolds said at the meeting he was hopeful new legislation could be beneficial to Lake Bistineau.
BTF is an intergovernmental organization of "stakeholders" in Lake Bistineau comprised of members of Bienville, Bossier and Webster parishes as well as Bodcau, Dorcheat and Saline Soil and Water Conservation Districts.
The panel was formed in 2009 in response to Bistineau's salvinia invasion.
The next BTF meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 21 at 10:15 a.m. in the Webster Parish Courthouse.