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Salvinia water mower used on Cypress Black Bayou - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Salvinia water mower used on Cypress Black Bayou

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BOSSIER PARISH, La. -

Cypress Black Bayou is just one more body of water in Northwest Louisiana infected with salvinia. Its Board of Commission is trying to wipe it out with all methods, including the water mower invented by a local man.

For hours Tuesday, John Borque and his team worked with his water mower to chop up giant salvinia in a canal off the southwest corner of Cypress Black Bayou. It's just part of the 200 acres covered by the weed.

"No one has a single cure for this product," said Robert Berry, interim director for the Bayou's Board of Commissions. "So we're trying to use every measure we can to help these landowners can access the lake."

The board brought the mower in. It costs them $1,500 for an eight hour day of work. Borque modified the process—they now use a boom on a john boat to push the salvinia out to the mower.

"It is getting us access back into these pockets," said Berry. "We've been in contact with Wild Life and Fisheries. They will be coming back after we get through with the harvesting and doing another spray."

Lake resident Clovis Lowe watched the mower at work.

"It was really something good, nice to watch. It was very entertaining," he said Wednesday." When I first looked out there this morning, it was solid back there where it had been solid before, just like nothing ever happened."

By Wednesday afternoon, a northerly wind blew some of the salvinia out into the open of Cypress Black Bayou.

"From watching them, it takes a long time to get that stuff," said Lowe. "And the larger they let it get on the lake, the less it will ever be effective. Even if it works."

Lowe is skeptic of the mower but happy something is being done.

Berry said the mower was only on the water a few hours Wednesday because of bad weather, but will continue throughout the week.

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