Monday, September 10, 2018

Weed Spraying in the Rez

Media Release
For Immediate Release
10 September 2018

Giant salvinia found in Barnett Reservoir
Aggressive treatment to begin soon in Pelahatchie Bay

Giant salvinia, an aggressive non-native aquatic plant, has been found in the Pelahatchie Bay area of Barnett Reservoir near Jackson, the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District announced.

Efforts to eradicate giant salvinia will require multiple applications of multiple herbicides, which the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) said will also have an unfortunate impact on important native vegetation, such as lotus (lily pads).

MDWFP first discovered giant salvinia in a small isolated patch along the Bay’s north shore earlier this summer, but recently located more of the problematic plant in pockets spread through a five-acre area. Efforts to contain its spread have begun, and the MDWFP will soon begin an aggressive spraying campaign to eradicate it.

Giant salvinia, an aquatic fern, is native to Brazil and was first found in the U.S. in South Carolina in 1995. MDWFP biologists say it is one of this country’s most dreaded invasive plants because of its rapid growth potential and the difficulty of eradication. Research has found that it is capable of doubling its biomass in 36 hours in optimal conditions, which include warm, still waters.

If unchecked, the plant can take over an entire lake cove in a matter of weeks with mats up to three feet thick, choking out all aquatic life and making boating, swimming or fishing impossible in affected areas.

This is the second time giant salvinia has been found in Barnett Reservoir. In 2013, a biologist recognized a small patch in the harbor at the Goshen Springs Boat Ramp on Mississippi Highway 43. It was quickly eradicated and removed from the water.

Since it is believed the plant is introduced to new waters primarily by boaters, PRVWSD and MDWFP officials say it is important that anglers and boaters clean, drain, and dry their boating equipment after each use to limit the spread of invasive species, and to report all non-native aquatic species they encounter to MDWFP Fisheries Bureau.

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