Right now, there’s more interest in how high the water is — and how high it will get — on Lake D’Arbonne than there is in the fishing. It’s amazing to see the lake come from five feet low just a few weeks ago to several feet above pool stage so quickly.
The road to the public ramp on Stowe Creek was under water in places Sunday, but no other areas had been affected.
Sunday night, D’Arbonne Lake was at 82.03 feet with a projected high in a few days of 82.30 feet. Don’t be surprised if the lake tops the 83 foot mark, though. Pool stage is 80 feet. We did have 2.5 inches of rain Saturday night, which will bring the lake up near the 83 foot mark, possibly higher. The spillway gates are not normally opened until the lake hits 84 feet, and frankly, in D’Arbonne’s case, that doesn’t currently do much good because of the limited amount of water that goes through, even when they are all working. In fact, only ONE GATE is currently working and is about as useful as trying to drain an Olympic swimming pool with a soda straw. The fancy new Tainter Gate project is behind schedule due to weather and probably won’t be ready until the end of March. This will help a lot in flood situations in the future, but won’t alleviate flooding in some low lying areas under severe conditions. When completed, these gates will assist greatly in draining the lake more quickly and managing consistent water levels during 5-year-drawdowns. The gates are operated by the Louisiana Department of Transportation.
The following are the highest three levels in recorded history for Lake D’Arbonne.
(1) 90.78 ft on 04/30/1991 (2) 86.11 ft on 04/30/1958 (3) 85.83 ft on 06/11/1974
Lake Claiborne is also up, but is not currently under threat of flooding. Claiborne was also up at 186.32. Pool stage there is 185 feet. The Ouachita River is also up, but it is still low for this time of the year from the drought this summer. The Ouachita at Monroe measured 24.65 feet Sunday. Flood stage is 40.0 feet. Let’s hope all this settles down before we have any more rain! And I’ll be glad to write about fishing instead of water levels!