- Associated Press - Friday, September 8, 2017

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana authorities are asking the public not to move any roseau cane, either on purpose or in debris on their boats.

Several state agencies are asking waterfowl hunters, anglers and boaters to take several steps because cane has been dying along the coast. A tiny invasive insect called roseau cane scale has been found in 11 parishes and may be contributing to the die-off.

A news release Thursday asks boaters not to tie up their boats to roseau cane, to remove all cane debris from their boats before leaving local marinas, and to wash boats with soapy water and drain them at or near those marinas.

Roseau cane is a tall wetland grass that stands up well to tropical storms and is one of the coast’s most erosion-proof marsh plants.

Spreading the scale or whatever else might be causing the die-off could seriously hurt both coastal marshes and valuable crops throughout the state.

The public is also encouraged to report areas of stressed cane and the presence of the roseau cane scale, preferably through a short web survey where you can also upload photos of the cane and, if possible, the insect. The survey is at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PhragmitesSurvey .

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, LSU AgCenter, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority and the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act all are asking the public to help.

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