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Salvinia, draw down hurts businesses on Lake Bisteneau - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Salvinia, draw down hurts businesses on Lake Bisteneau

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HAUGHTON, La. -

Camp Joy Marina on Lake Bistineau is not very joyful during the Forth of July holiday weekend.

"Normally we'd have a lot of business this weekend," said manager Dee Ricketson Friday afternoon. "Even the past few years when the salvinia's been so bad, people would brave it to be out here this weekend."

The salvinia is out again this year, more than ever. It caused the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to start the draw down of Lake Bistineau early and basically killed Camp Joy's summer season.

"They promised us they wouldn't do it this year, so we all made plans to have a full season," said Ricketson. "And not only did they do it, they did it sooner than normal."

Ricketson said even the die-hard boaters could not get on the water this Forth of July because the lake's been drawn down so much for them to put their boats into the water.

"Now the water's going down, there's stumps sticking up everywhere so you can't use your boat," said Jonny Ferguson, one of those die-hards.

He lives on a house boat, and is upset he can't take it out.

"The water's too low," said Ferguson. "I'm not going to risk messing up the haul of my boat."

The low water has already messed up Ricketson's bottom line.

"It hurts," she said. "This is the time of year we usually make our money so we can survive the lean part of the year during the winter time, and this year we're not doing it. So we'll definitely be in the hole."

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