Last Modified: Tuesday, November 12, 2013 10:56 PM
During the past seven to 10 days the Toledo Bend watershed area received a huge amount of rain which resulted in the lake rising a foot or more in a short period of time. This resulted in large areas of floating giant salvinia (dreaded tropical plant) becoming dislodged and floating out into some of the main lake areas.
For the past several years this phenomena has been occurring whenever there is a rapid rise in water levels. Most of the time these areas of salvinia are back in the shallow protected areas of some of the main feeder creek above Pendleton Bridge. When these large masses of floating aquatic vegetation move into the open they often cause the public to become concerned as more people observe how significant the problem really is. Some of these floating masses are 2-3 acres in size.
Ted Dove of the Toledo Bend Lake Association said he has received numerous emails from membership asking about the large amount of giant salvinia that is showing up in areas like Lanana Bay (pronounced Lanans by locals), San Miquel and other areas of the lake where it was not apparent until recently.
Dove has been in discussions recently with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and was told that the company that is under contract with the LDWF for statewide salvinia control is scheduled to be on Toledo Bend this week.
The contractor has multiple air boats that can access almost any area of the lake with each boat equipped to handle large areas where the salvinia has piled up. The contractor makes multiple trips to Toledo Bend annually as part of their contract to help control this stubborn, unfriendly plant.
When large areas of the salvinia are dislodged and float out into open water, it does make it easier to spray. Dove added that the LDWF also has some equipment to do this, but has limited manpower.
It is highly unlikely that we will be able to rid Toledo completely of this invasive plant, but spraying large amounts of the stuff when it becomes dislodged has become one method to control it.
However, as I am writing this report, Mother Nature is making herself known as north winds are howling with 25-30 mph gusts, which means super large swells on the lake which will make it impossible for contractors to continue treating until the front passes, meaning Thursday at the earliest.
Another factor could be the high winds and large swells will move the salvinia south as well as possibly breaking it up and scattering it, which is not a good thing. Hopefully, most of it got treated before the front hit. We’ll update next week.
Lake levels are 167.9 feet with both generators running 24 hours earlier this week, but with levels dropping, my guess is generating will be slowed down this week.
Water temperatures are in mid-to-upper 60s but will definitely trend downward with the recent strong cold front arriving and freezing temps forecast for the lake area. North Toledo is mostly stained to slightly stained, midlake is slightly stained to clear while south Toledo is clear.
BASS: We’ll give a brief report due to the salvinia coverage. There continues to be multiple ways to catch bass on Toledo Bend. We have had movement to shallow water with recent rains, but with the strong cold front and falling lake levels the bass continue to move around and reposition so be prepared to mix it up.
With these conditions I head to deep points and edge of ridges where they fall into deep water and work’em hard and completely. I like ridges from 15-20 feet that fall off into 30-50 feet. Work them with Carolina-rigged power worms and 1/2- or 3/4-ounce Stanley Bugeye Football jigs.
As weather moderates the latter part of the week, move back into some of the main drains and feeder creeks and look for grass close to ditches and drains and work with Texas-rigged Bottom Hoppers (Havoc) and Trick Worms. In addition, a medium-deep running NXS (Bill Norman) worked on edge of creeks and major drains is giving up some quality bass.
Overall, I suggest fishing deeper and slower this week with current weather patterns. These go hand in hand because the deeper I fish, the slower I fish. Fish will bunch in tight groups as water temps fall into upper 50s and low 60s making them easier to miss entirely on a large point.
I like to fish one direction and then, if no action, reposition boat and work the opposite.
CRAPPIE/YELLOW BASS: Crappie anglers caught some fish on the two days before the front on man-made brush piles with live shiners in 25-30 feet.
Yellow bass are being caught in major creeks as anglers need to look for clouds of shad. The yellow bass are close to the shad because that’s where dinner is located. To mimic shad I use a jigging spoon and tail-spinner.
Joe Joslin is a syndicated outdoor columnist, tournament angler and pro guide on Toledo Bend and Sam Rayburn. His column appears Thursdays. Contact him at 463-3848 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.joejoslinoutdoors.com