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Nearly 90 percent of invasive weed gone from Mississippi bay

March 10, 2019

PELAHATCHIE, Miss. (AP) — An invasive weed clogging a Mississippi waterway has almost been eradicated.

The Pearl River Valley Water Supply District said it eliminated 90 percent of Giant Salvinia found growing in Pelahatchie Bay, according to a report by WLBT-TV.

If left unchecked, the weed would cover the water and deprive the water of oxygen, said the district’s president, John Sigman.

The Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks, which has spread the herbicides killing the weed, said it’s almost gone at Pelahatchie Bay. But the fight’s not over. Officials said Giant Salvinia recently been discovered in Pickwick, Bay Springs, Columbus, Aberdeen and Okhissa lakes, and the Pascagoula Marsh.

Experts say Giant Salvinia can double its size in just two days and it has carpeted lakes in parts of Louisiana.

So far, $100,000 has been spent to kill off the weed in Rankin County.

Sigman said they believe the weed is spreading by clinging onto boats that travel the state’s waterways. Officials said they will install washing stations and require boaters to clean their vessels and trailers as they come and go to help prevent further expansion.

Meanwhile, officials hope to open the Pelahatchie Bay by April.

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Information from: WLBT-TV, http://www.wlbt.com