Wildlife officials update reservoir managers on Giant Salvinia eradication efforts

Wildlife officials update reservoir managers on Giant Salvinia eradication efforts

RANKIN COUNTY, MS (WLBT) - Wildlife officials say they’re having luck eradicating giant Salvinia out of Pelahatchie Bay.

They updated reservoir officials on their progress Tuesday afternoon.

A recent inspection of areas they treated have revealed there are still small amounts in isolated places.

They closed the bay back in October, when the first signs of the invasive plant were found.

Since then, they’ve used flame throwers to burn off the plant then sprayed herbicides to kill of what was left.

Giant Salvinia could threaten recreational activities on the water if left untreated.

Several lakes in Louisiana and Texas have been carpeted with the plant and it’s also killed off native fish species.

Reservoir officials say their goal is total eradication.

John Sigman, General Manager of the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District, said, “It’s very encouraging news. They completed a survey this morning, they found very little of the giant Salvinia, it’s still there. It can be hiding in a lot of different locations. I think were going to keep the lake level about where it is that’s going to be a detraction to a lot of people but the material is in the dry now if we flood out there we lost control.”

Thursday, the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District will make a decision on if they will open Pelahatchie Bay to recreational boating.

It could take several weeks to open the area back to boats because they plan to install boat washing stations and launch a campaign on how people can prevent the spread of the plant.

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