An invasive species orginally from Brazil, the Giant Salvinia causes problems on Lake Bistineau and other southern waterways.
One Bossier Parish inventor says he has the solution, but he cannot get the state to pay attention.
Avid fisherman John Borque created his patented Water Mower after Giant Salvinia got between him and the water.
The device scoops the weed from the water's surface, pulverizes it, and returns pieces to the lake.
"You put me in a mess, I'm going to pick it up," Borque says. "I'm going to grind it and it's history."
Borque enlisted Rep. Patrick Williams (D-District 4) to help him win over the attention of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries after his pitches were overlooked.
"If it's an issue, we need to look at all options to address the issue, and this was one that I though was a viable issue at least to look at it," Rep. Williams says.
Wildlife and Fisheries authorities say they have their concerns over the machine's size and speed.
"Unfortunately, the places that salvinia is the worst are very, very shallow areas with thick trees," says Mike Wood, LA Dept. Wildlife and Fisheries. "[Those] are the places this boat may have the most difficulty navigating."
Wood says the department's two man spray crews treat approximately 25 acres of giant salvinia every day at a cost of $73 per acre, and the Water Mower would need to meet or exceed that rate of control to be considered a viable option.
Wood adds that the department has yet to see the boat working on the water, but Borque says officials are ignoring his demonstrations.
"There's really not much we're not open to, including this water mover," Wood says. "Anything that we can see as a viable option for control... we're ready to go with it."
Borque says studies show his method works, and he is not sure why the state is against his product.
"Hey, I'm here," Borque says. "Let's go to work."
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries currently uses a few methods to combat salvinia: draining shallow area to dry out the weed, using boons to contain it, and aerial sprays with herbicides.
Authorities acknowledge that the weed spreads faster than they can kill it.