MONROE, La. (AP) — Some people who live along Bayou DeSiard (duh-ZEERD) in Monroe want it sprayed to get rid of a native aquatic plant known as "coontail."

Phil Nelson tells The News-Star ( he's worried that swimming children could get tangled in the plants, which look like furry green tails and can grow several yards long.

Experts say coontail is harmless. Waterfowl eat it. Biology professor Dennis Bell says it's both food and protective cover for lots and lots of small creatures including juvenile fish. And he says they don't produce any toxic substances or change the taste of water.

Experts agree with residents who say they've never seen such numbers of the plants before.