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image of Bayou Teche

Bayou Teche

Bayou Teche was built in 1918, by the Jahneck Shipbuilding Corporation at the Jahncke Shipyard along the Tchefuncta River in Madisonville, Louisiana. It was a Ferris-type wooden hulled cargo steamship built for the United States Shipping Board (USSB) as part of the large war effort of World War I. The Jahncke Shipyard employed close to 2,200 workers and went on to build six wooden cargo vessels, like Bayou Teche, for the USSB. Madisonville, Louisiana, continued to be a center for shipbuilding after World War I and into the post-World War II era, but the influx of activity due to the USSB contracts was never quite seen again.

At the time of one of the surveys taken of the remains of Bayou Teche, it was noted that the wild vegetation of hydrilla hampered further investigations. Hydrilla is an invasive aquatic plant that originated in Asia, but has taken root in waterways all across the United States. Hydrilla affects water quality as it crowds out native species and impedes irrigation. It is also a nuisance to boaters and can foul up a boat propeller quickly if not careful.

For information on hydrilla and other invasive species, visit

Bayou Teche Images