Photo: MSMcCarthy Photography
Lake Bistineau is located in Bossier, Webster, and Bienville Parishes in northwestern Louisiana, and covers an area of approximately, 15,500 acres. Much of the lake is sheltered by moss draped bald Cypress trees.
Among the lakes of the Great Raft that have survived in one fashion or another, Bistineau and Caddo Lake are considered by many to most characterize Red River raft lakes before the removal of the Great Raft in 1835 and 1875.
Because much of Lake Bistineau is comprised of shallow water meandering among thick Cypress brakes, it is particularly susceptible to giant salvinia and other invasive aquatic vegetation such as hydrilla, alligatorweed, and water hyacinth. For the past several years, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries and the Lake Bistineau Task Force have waged a vigorous treatment and public education campaign that has substantially improved control of invasive aquatic vegetation.
Although Bistineau water levels are maintained by a permanent dam that was erected in 1935, the present lake was formed around 1800 as a result of a phenomenon created by flooding caused by the Great Raft on the Red River. The lake is fed by Dorcheat Bayou, which arises in Nevada County, Arkansas, and Clark’s Bayou, as well as smaller streams. At its southern end, the lake merges with Loggy Bayou, which connects to the Red River.
Both “Dorcheat” and “Bistineau” are probably French modifications of Caddo Indian words. Prior to the influx of Europeans and Anglo Americans, the area around Dorcheat and Loggy Bayous, and earlier variants of the lake, were inhabited and claimed by the Caddo Confederacy. The Bistineau area provided alternative routes for navigation before the removal of the Great Raft.
Lake Bistineau is located a few miles south of Minden, approximately 30 miles east of Shreveport, Louisiana. Lake Bistineau State Park is located near the community of Doyline, approximately 15 miles southwest of Minden.
Lake Bistineau Invasives Treatments & Observations Tracker
To view the web tool for Lake Bistineau, click on the
The Caddo Lake Institute (CLI), a non-profit scientific and educational organization focused on protecting ecological and cultural resources of the Great Raft Lakes, has partnered with the U.S. Geological Survey National Wetlands Research Center (NWRC) to develop online tools to help inform resource managers and lake stakeholders of both past and planned treatment activities at two lakes. This knowledge will allow resource managers to increase the efficiency of future planned treatments. Additionally, analysis of historical treatment data found through the web tool may allow for resource managers to better gauge treatment effectiveness for specific techniques throughout the lakes.
In addition, to help manage the invasive species issue in the GRIP area, CLI has developed an innovative way to engage the community and leverage their intimate knowledge of the lakes using a program similar to the adopt-a-highway programs. Instead of a section of a highway, the public can “adopt” a predefined lake zone. Participants, predominately local land owners, are known as “Weed Wardens”. Weed Wardens act as an extension to the lake management team by monitoring their adopted zone and reporting “observations” to management agencies through the web tool, which they feel should be investigated by experts.
To view the web tool, click here.
To view more Lake Bistineau photos, click here.