DOYLINE — The cypress trees draped in moss used to reflect in the calm waters of a summer evening on Lake Bistineau. Charlie Walker and his wife Dorothy enjoyed that view as the tree frogs sang from their perches in the muggy evenings off Palmyra Park Road south of Doyline.
"We used to love to get out in the morning on the deck and drink coffee and it was beautiful," Walker said. "But it ain't beautiful now."
For the past eight years or so, that reflection is sometimes blocked by the invasive giant salvina which has lately been trapped by deep-rooted alligator weed.
"It depends on the weather," Walker said. "We go to bed at night and the wind comes in from the east, then when we come out in the morning, it's packed full of salvinia. But it's just the opposite if the wind is blowing from the west or northwest — we'll come out in the morning and it's gone."
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has led efforts to stop the giant salvinia through spraying and other means, and now Trailblazer Resource Conservation and Development is joining the battle with two new volunteer groups.
Weed Wardens are taking to the lake to identify and map the happenings of aggressive aquatic weeds. The group of volunteers is working with the Bistineau Task Force, established in 2009, and LDWF.
"Wildlife and fisheries is doing a great job," Ellzey Simmons of Trailblazer said. "But the reality is the people are going to be out there on a regular basis and will report those weeds, which we will report to wildlife and fisheries."
The general public can get involved by volunteering for the second program, the Shoreline Watch.
"The shoreline is people who are not necessarily out in the lake, reporting what they see in their backyards or boat landings," Simmons said.
Volunteers will be trained to identify weeds and encouraged to spread awareness to neighbors and friends using the lake.TO HELP To volunteer for Trailblazer's Shoreline Watch, go to trailblazer.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 318-255-3554.Subscribe to Read!