JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Officials are making an effort to get rid of an invasive plant species found on the Ross Barnett Reservoir.
The Mississippi Department of Wildlife says that they are containing the Giant Salvinia. Floating barriers are keeping the plants in place and they are continuing to spray them with different herbicides. They have controlled about 50 percent of the Salvinia they have found and they are still searching for more in hard to reach areas.
MDWFP first discovered the invasive plant 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. 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 shows that the plant can double its biomass in 36 hours in optimal conditions, which include warm, still waters.
This is the second time Giant Salvinia has been found in the reservoir. In 2013, a biologist recognized a small patch in the harbor at the Goshen Springs Boat Ramp on MS Hwy 43. It was quickly removed from the water.
This plant is often spread by boaters. MDWFP says that anglers and boaters need to clean, drain and dry their boating equipment after each use to limit the spread of this species.
The plant could hurt fishing, swimming and other activities on the Rez if it’s not controlled.