Aquatic Weed Harvester - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Aquatic Weed Harvester

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MARKSVILLE, La. - Home owners spend a lot of time pulling and plucking weeds to make their house and garden look nice. For some home owners eliminating weeds has been almost impossible. Some residents who live on Spring Bayou in Marksville are tired of having weeds turn their lake into a swamp and News Channel Five's Nolan Crane reports.

Mark Borrel lives on a bayou, but he's tired of being landlocked.

"I haven't put this boat in the water probably a little over 2 years," says Mark Borrel.

The problem is aquatic weeds that have overgrown spring bayou, leaving this avid boater up a creek.

Five years ago this swamp filled with lotus and hidrilla, and this region used to be called a sportsman's paradise, with hundreds visiting, boating and skiing. But now there's only one boat left in this water: the aquatic weed harvester is a boat owned by Danny Brouilette and Lyle Decuir, two residents of this area who had enough of these noxious weeds, and are ready to get rid of them.

"It actually cuts the material and it loads it. It has one conveyor that brings it to the second conveyor and you go to the shore and dump it," says Lyle Decuir.

It's a bit of a last ditch effort. Over the years there have been many attempts to eliminate these weeds. Hidrilla eating carp have been added and a chemical spray has been used to try to kill the weeds, but some say the spray kills fish as well.

That's why this boat, these men say, could be the safer answer.

"This boat, actually, it's obvious you see the difference. Once we pass, it's gone," says Lyle Decuir.

But this fix, doesn't come free. Tuesday's demonstration is just that and Decuir and Brouilette say they need to be paid to do the job. That's something Avoyelles Parish police juryman Borrel says, isn't in the budget.

"Everybody is strapped for money. The police jury sure couldn't do it. We can't even fix our roads, much less do something like this," says Mark Borrel.

That's why these guys are here, they're hoping that someone will see the help the fish and their bayou need, and get rid of this green.

"We took it upon ourselves to look and see what we can do and I think we got the right source to do it with," says Danny Brouillette.

Tomorrow the owners of the aquatic weed harvester will put on a demonstration and they hope the department of wildlife and fisheries will show up, but everyone is invited. for more information you can call Lyle at (318) 305-1005 or Danny (318) 452-8615.

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