Joslin: Battling giant salvinia on Toldeo Bend

By By Joe Joslin / American Press

Hello, anglers.

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 conditions

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.

Fishing reports

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 joejoslinoutdoors@yahoo.com or visit www.joejoslinoutdoors.com