Water Level Fluctuation--It's Effects on Vegetation Control and Fish Population Management

The fluctuation of water level as a lake management practice in Louisiana is explained using three lakes as examples. These lakes vary from 1,000 to 2,600 acres and are scattered over the state. Anacoco Lake, a 2,600 acre impoundment in central Louisiana, was fluctuated primarily for aquatic vegetation control. The vegetation was reduced 90% over a period of three years. The effects on the fish population as shown in annual rotenone samples were an increase in the game fish of available size and a decrease in the intermediate size sunfish. Fishing success improved markedly. Bussey Lake, an impoundment of 2,200 acres in northeastern Louisiana, was extensively studied. Fluctuation data is presented showing that noxious vegetation was reduced over 95% in two years. The effects on both the fish population and fishing success were extremely favorable with harvest per acre up over 250%. Lafourche Lake, a 1,000 acre cutoff stream channel in northeastern Louisiana was fluctuated three years for vegetation control. Success on aquatic vegetation control was good. A discussion of the effects on the fish population is presented. The most important aspects in planning a water level fluctuation program are discussed with particular emphasis on degree and timing.

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