In the middle of summer a very visible anomaly took place at Bickham Dickson Lake: Thousands of fish went belly up. The cause was a little less visible: Lack of oxygen, due to rotting hydrylla. "It's coming in from the river," says Gary Hanson with LSUS. LSUS scientists say hydrilla is just one of several different invaders of the lake, and they're using the one square mile of ecological mishap as a classroom. "The data is being collected to help us solve some of the problems, we're having huge problems from invasive species, terrestrial and aquatic, and we're working to help solve these problems," says Hanson. And they're doing so with a hands on approach. No matter how slimy, students actually touch the problem, and use state of the art equipment to gather crucial information. "We have monitoring wells, ground water, monitoring wells out here, we have a floating monitoring station already in the lake," says Hanson.
According to LSUS the lake is literally being choked out. The students want to learn from it, and fix it. One student says "Because I grew up here in Louisiana, and Shreveport, to know you can help locally that makes you feel good." Another student says "I'd love to be one of the people who finds something that can help the environment and help get things back to where they need to be." The solutions they come up with here at Bickham Dickson Lake, they'll most likely take with them in their future careers.