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Henderson Lake Drawdown Planned to Fight Hydrilla Takeover
Henderson Lake in St. Martin Parish has been invaded by hydrilla and parish officials are using a new tool to try and tame it.

They realize they are unable to eradicate the aquatic invasive plant, so their focus is now on management and that will be done with an annual drawdown of lake levels every summer by about 2 feet, enough to dry out the shallow areas in the roughly 5,000-acre lake and kill the hydrilla.

The annual drawdown also could nurture a more natural ecosystem, restoring the old cycle of flooding and drying out at Henderson Lake and other areas of the Atchafalaya Basin before flood-control projects decades ago sectioned off the swamp with levees.

The state has tried herbicide, spending more than $1 million in recent years to fight hydrilla and water hyacinth, another invasive weed at Henderson Lake.

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