The tainter gates at the Lake D’Arbonne spillway have been closed. Now it’s up to Mother Nature.
The level at 7 a.m Thursday as 74.9 feet, just a tadpole tail more than the five-feet the lake was originally supposed to come down from the normal 80-foot pool level. For all intents and purposes the recent drought has left the lake flat-lined at that level, as you can see by the attached chart. It could continue to go down slightly with no rain, or Mother Nature could decide at a moment’s notice to raise the lake back up. There is no aquatic thermostat on a big lake like D’Arbonne.
Fishermen’s wishes, lake commission plans and state tainter gates are marvelous, but make no mistake who is really in charge!
If you’ve got work to do on the lake bottom that is exposed, get ‘er done. It will be another four years until a scheduled drawdown on the 16,00o acre lake. I would like to give those in charge of the drawdown, including the LaDODT (department of development and transportation) a thank you for managing the lake drop slowly. Too fast of a drop could cause damage to lake seawalls, decks and boathouses.
And for goodness sake, if you are on the lake during the end of this drawdown, please, please, please be careful. Just because you are diving between to “boat run” markers doesn’t mean you are in open water. In some areas, it doesn’t even mean you are in water. It only may be two inches to a foot deep. These markers are for FULL LAKE conditions. The only sure deep water is in the old river and creek channels. And while that water may be 20 feet deep, it also doesn’t mean there isn’t a four-foot diamter 100-year-old fallen cypress tree that is basically petrified leaning out into the channel under the water. They make great fishing spots, but are no friend to your outboard motor’s lower unit.