Take Extra Caution on Lake Martin as it is Drained
For those who frequent Lake Martin in St. Martin Parish, you may soon have something new to look at in the lake.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is responsible for the lake's wildlife and fisheries, and they will be soon taking extra steps to improve the habitat of both.
While this occurs, the topography of the lake will change.
What will officials with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries be doing that will change the lake? They will be pulling the plug on the lake for a few months.
This scheduled drawdown on Lake Martin in St. Martin Parish is for "nuisance aquatic vegetation control, organic reduction and fish habitat improvement", according to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. The drawdown is designed to reduce the amount of aquatic vegetation in the lake.
"Aquatic vegetation?" you ask? That's what the grown-folks call it. When we were kids we called it "seaweed" but, as we now know, it's far from seaweed.
Most of it is hydrilla and coontail and the drawdown should help to control some of that underwater vegetation.
Some underwater vegetation is good for fish, but too much of it will cause fish to begin to die off, and we don't want that, do we?
Officials with the LDWF will be opening a water control structure at the beginning of September to let water out of the lake.
How fast will the water level fall in the lake? Well, don't expect to see a big whirlpool in the middle reminiscent of Lake Peigneur back in '80.
The water will only be falling less than 2 inches per day, or so. The target drop will be between two and three feet lower than what we are used to seeing in the lake.
The control gates on the lake are scheduled to be closed at the end of the year and officials will begin to pump back in to refill the lake. Lake Martin should be up to its "normal" level by the end of January.
As the lake is being drained, adventurers who use the lake need to take extra caution as the topography of the lake will change.
More obstructions will be found as you traverse the lake in the shape of downed trees, tree trunks, old duck blinds and the like.
Officials with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries say that, though the lake will remain open to fishing, portions of the south end of Lake Martin might not have enough water through which to navigate.
In other words: in some parts of Lake Martin, your boat won't float.
If you have never been to Lake Martin, it really is a hidden gem right close to home. There are several species of wildlife that make Lake Martin an exciting, beautiful place to visit.
Alligators, turtles, fish, frogs, snakes, opossum, nutria, raccoon, armadillo, rabbits, several species of birds, and tons of wasps (seriously, though, don't shake any bushes or tree limbs!) all call Lake Martin home.
Remember this: if you visit Lake Martin, please leave with more trash than with which you arrived. Lake Martin is beautiful, let's all help keep it that way.