Giant boom

This is one of the booms deployed at Lake Bistineau in Northwest Louisiana in hopes of controlling giant salvinia.

An 1,800-foot floating boom has been deployed at Lake Bistineau in Webster Parish, LA, in an experimental effort to control giant salvinia.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said in a statement that the boom is intended to help control the drift of floating aquatic plants by providing a location for the plants to collect and allowing more effective herbicide application on the plants.

The floating boom has been deployed at two locations in Lake Bistineau -- at Fairview Point and just north of Plum Orchard.

The boom is highly visible and will be marked with additional lights to improve visibility at night.

The experimental boom will be monitored regularly. Vegetation collected by the boom will be sprayed with herbicide. The boom must be used carefully to avoid creating navigation hazards or concentrating salvinia in areas that would restrict boating access on the lake. The success of the boom will be determined by the amount of salvinia collected.

Invasive aquatic plants, such as giant salvinia, spread rapidly threatening the diversity and abundance of native plant species as well as the ecological balance of lakes and ponds. In addition to reducing the habitat quality for aquatic life, invasive species can limit recreational use of waterbodies for activities like boating, fishing, hunting and swimming. Invasive aquatic plants are aggressive and can be very difficult to control.

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