The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and Ducks Unlimited, Inc. have teamed up to devise a management strategy that will help eliminate this destructive encroachment of woody vegetation. In order to facilitate a management plan, the encroaching woody vegetation had to be quantified and stratified into workable classes by relative density. This will allow decision makers at Catahoula Lake to prioritize their mechanical and chemical treatment efforts to minimize the costs and to maximize the benefits. The importance of Catahoula Lake as a resource to waterfowl is hard to overstate. This vital area will continue to winter hundreds of thousands of waterfowl for generations to come if we are careful stewards of it and do not take for granted that it will always be there.
The three initial phases of this project are all complete.
Map the densities of encroaching woody vegetation on the lake:
Ikonos 1 meter Pan 09-17-2004; www.spaceimaging.com
Map the vegetation types as accurately as possible as they existed in October 2004:
SPOT 5 10-03-2004; www.spot.com
Evaluate change in vegetation on Catahoula Lake from 1987-2003:*
Landsat 5 10-15-1987; landsat.usgs.gov
*The change in vegetation from 1987-2003 should be used very cautiously. With the exception of woody vegetation, which is fairly distinct in the imagery, the vegetation classes were too confused to be considered robust, especially in light of the moderate resolution sensor and the lack of training or ground truth data.