I‘m a liberal leaning outdoorsman attempting to open the minds of right wingers to the idea that libs fish too. Anglers come from all walks of life, left, right, and center. Not everyone who fishes for bass is a redneck fond of Nascar, country music, and religiosity. Expect posts about largemouth bass fishing, techniques, reviews of lures and other products, but not any condemnable conservative rants. I hope to inspire the online angler community to dial down rhetoric which will do more harm than good to our sport.

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Saturday, April 3, 2010

• Cross Lake Barrier Proposal?

A flyer was in the mailbox today about a barrier being considered on Cross Lake. The spelling errors in this flyer and the timing around the announcement (April Fools) left me somewhat skeptical about the legitimacy of the story. I do not take hoaxes lightly and I expect my visitors to feel the same way. The Sunday issue of the Shreveport Times newspaper has a front page story on the barrier.

Shreveport Times article

According to a flyer in the mail, the city is considering putting a PERMANENT 3/4 mile barrier across the middle of the lake to prevent the spread of giant salvinia. The barrier itself will be made of telephone poles driven into the lake every 100 feet or so connected with netting and buoys. There is supposed to be a meeting on April 6 at the American Legion post #14 from 6:30PM to 8:30PM. The letter also mentioned an attached petition, but no such petition could be found.

According to the newspaper article, the proposal is considering installing a floating fence across a point on the west end, Perch Point. The article also states that boats will be able to pass over the fence. Everything west of the barrier will either be sprayed or collected and removed.

There are a few obvious points to make. Apparently those who work for the city do not fully understand how giant salvinia spreads from lake to lake.

I was under the impression salvinia was already on both ends of the lake. It was definitely on the west end. It was on the north side around the twin bridges. It was in a pocket on the east end prior to anywhere else on the lake. A barrier alone will not do any good. Salvinia is already on many of our area lakes. It will only take one contaminated boat or trailer for salvinia to get into the eastern side of the lake. All they have to do is launch from a ramp on that side. A barrier is just a waste of money and manpower. Any angler who fishes on another contaminated lake could easily load in on Cross. Caddo Lake should serve as a perfect example of how widespread the plant can be.

Is this an attempt to prevent it from getting into the Red River? It's already there. 

From what I've seen, the frigid winter we had killed off most of the stuff. A cold winter seems to be the best at dealing with the problem. Of course, that's not something we can create.

Anglers fishing tournaments will be really angry if a barrier is put in seeing as how most of the good fishing will be on the western side of said barrier. The TNT tourneys launch at the east end. This will most certainly lead to a drop in participation.

If boats are able to cross the barrier, they will undoubtedly bring the invasive plant back across on their way back to the ramp. The Cross Lake Patrol Office is located on the eastern side of the lake. The barrier must allow boat traffic to cross in order to respond to any emergency call.

It just seems like people making decisions do not really understand how this invasive plant species spreads. Our options are few. Get anglers involved and informed so they prevent spreading the plant from lake to lake. Spray chemicals when present. Release weevils to help combat it. Investigate options like salinity and other more effective chemicals to kill the salvinia. Find out what is working on Caddo. Manual removal is not an option, no matter how successful local officials claim it has been. The floating islands of salvinia on Caddo Lake are still there. Success is apparently a relative term.

On the plus side, this will give property owners on the west end plenty of privacy. However, this could negatively affect property values.

On the plus side, we might see fewer jet ski and similar recreational traffic on the west end, unless they decide to launch at Fleming. 

On the plus side, maybe the fishing pressure will be reduced somewhat and the bass population will improve.

Generally speaking, it won't tremendously affect me as I fish areas on the west end almost exclusively.

Leave comments if you like. I won't be able to attend the meeting.

Black line = site of proposed barrier
Red dots = spots where I've personally seen salvinia
Green dot = location of floating barrier where salvinia was presumed to be before anywhere else on the lake.


Jody White said...

Well, it sounds like a bad idea to me but if it isn't a sure thing yet perhaps the money can be spent elsewhere with better effect. Keep us updated and maybe it can be effectively opposed

BassFishingDem said...

Via a tweet from someone on the city council:
The plan is multi-layered. Chemicals, containment, weevils. LSU and La Tech also helping.

Sounds more organized than most expected. Still not sold on the containment aspect. Will be a lot of work for those managing what piles up.