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Invasive plants eclipse algae problem in lakes

2 years 5 months 2 weeks ago Tuesday, June 22 2021 Jun 22, 2021 June 22, 2021 7:54 PM June 22, 2021 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Pretty flowers come with big consequences. The vegetation problem at the LSU lakes has progressed past the slimy, green algae and now invasive plants like hyacinth and alligator weed are taking over.

"it has gotten just a bigger and bigger hold on these lakes," said Parry Thomas with TULIPA.

It's growing a problem that's having trouble getting any better. Today, Lake Eerie looks more like a field than a lake.

"it's gotten worse over the last four years," said Thomas.

And it's spreading. Lake conservationist Thomas says May's big rain storms actually washed some of the weeds out of this lake and into the bigger ones.

BREC, which tried to eradicate the algae by depositing carp into the lakes two years ago is no longer managing the problem, as they've turned everything over to the consultants with BRAF's $50 million lakes facelift.

Thomas says the solution is for the weeds to be harvested.

"Back in 2016 we took out 88 dump trucks full of hyacinths."

He says the Bayou Lafourche Fresh Water District has agreed to help pull the weeds out, at a price he estimates to be at most $12,000.

But LSU and BRAF won't be picking up the tab, as they say everything will be fixed when dredging begins at the end of the year.

Thomas says he doesn't think it will solve the problem.

"When they start dredging the lakes, I don't want them to redeposit all the plant parts, seeds and all that into the soil when they redistribute it into the shore line, because that's just setting it up to grow more in the future."

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