Reservoir lowered in preparation for Giant Salvinia eradication

Updated: Dec. 13, 2019 at 4:14 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Managers at the Ross Barnett Reservoir have begun lowering the lake levels in their fight against Giant Salvinia.

They began discharging water from the reservoir at the spillway Friday morning, dropping the lake 2 1/2 feet down to 95 feet.

That will expose any remaining Giant Salvinia. They will go in with flamethrowers to burn off any overgrowth, and use herbicides to kill off what’s left.

If not attended to, Giant Salvinia can double its size in two days, sometimes carpeting lakes, ruining all recreational boating and fishing.

They plan to keep the lake down to that level until March.

“We are preparing for a long-term management plan," John Sigman the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District Executive Director said. "We hope we can eradicate it, but we’re not sure we can. We’ve got to make that effort, though. We’ve got the opportunity to do it and were going to take that.”

Boaters are being urged to take precautions while the water levels are down.

People are being urged to bring someone experienced on the reservoir with them, and not to run hard outside of the channels.

There are rebar and stumps that are now closer to the surface that could pose a danger to people on the water.

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