What’s Hidden in Packanack Lake?

Nutria disrupt local lake


Phoebe Phelan, Staff Writer

When you swim in Packanack lake it’s definitely a little dirty, but under that is a whole other world. Between turtles, frogs, fish, and much more, the area we are swimming over has so much more than meets the eye. All though some are cool like turtles and frogs, some do damage to our lake. You never know what you can find but one thing is for sure, something is damaging our lake. 

Now that is what we are talking about, lately, a lot of people have been seeing a lot of the plants being eaten. But something even worse is that they are not growing back as they should be. One day an animal was reported to be found, a weird animal that they had never seen before. They could not make out the picture for a while and ignored it thinking nothing of it. Then more and more reports were seen of it and people were thinking it could be something much more. A lot of people just said it was a beaver,  But it was not a beaver, after a closer look they found out that it was a nutria. 

The Nutria, also known as the Coypu, is part of the rodent family. They are very large and have thin webbed feet. The biggest thing is their teeth, they are bucked orange teeth that can eat through plants in a second and most likely not grow back. They live in nests and burrows and are always near a wetland, you could definitely say that they are much more agile in the water than on land. They have a lot of fur and a really long tail, they can even be eaten which is very common in Louisiana and has been for decades. But why are these Nutria bad?

When you look at the Nutria you can definitely say they are not that appealing but what they did is the same as their looks. They tend to dig burrows and holes and dig under bridges and roads. They tend to go near golf courses as well and ruin the green, but the problem for us is they are ruining our lake. Their teeth are very strong so when they eat leaves and plants they do not grow back. There have been many reports of people’s grass and plants now growing back like they usually do which also means a lot of the other animals are not able to eat. 

They are hoping to find the nutria and get it out of our lake. If you see it please report it to the clubhouse located by the playground and Gencarallis.