The Bistineau Task Force (BTF) was created in 2009 by the Bienville, Bossier, and Webster Parish Police Juries in cooperation with Trailblazer R C & D and the Bodcau, Dorcheat, and Saline Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) as a response to public outcries over the spread of Giant Salvinia in Lake Bistineau. In cooperation with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), this stakeholder’s group is working to restore and preserve the water quality and habitats of the entire area. Actions of the BTF include the coordination of restoration activities, education, advocacy, and citizen action.
Since 2009, in cooperation with Trailblazer Resource Conservation and Development, we began developing partners to work with us in this critical issue. Early in 2013, we researched the needs and it became clear that the only successful control of giant salvinia anywhere in the world was with the use of salvinia weevils. In consultation with experts in the field, our committee developed a plan to meet the restoration needs of Lake Bistineau. The project was given the title of the Salvinia Weevil Production Facility to maintain a focus upon the mass production of weevils in a temperature controlled year round environment. Next (Oct. 2013) a startup budget and an annual operations budget was also developed. A site search was performed in the fall and more than one quality site was offered for this use. Our partners (Dec-Jan. 2013) have indicated that they can raise private money to help establish the facilities. Our next step (Dec – current) is to seek financial support from the State of Louisiana for the long range commitment which will be required.
In summary, this is a unique plan offering a public/private partnership that will benefit the entire State of Louisiana.
The BTF recognizes the need for ongoing research, but highly recommends that Lake Bistineau continues to be on the front lines of the battle against the spread of Giant Salvinia.
The BTF remains very active in 2014 and is currently seeking support for funding of the project.