AP NEWS

Flamethrowers used to attack invasive aquatic weed at lake

March 21, 2019

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Officials at one Mississippi lake are trying to burn out an invader.

WAPT-TV reports workers at the Ross Barnett Reservoir near Jackson are using flamethrowers to torch the shoreline while combating giant salvinia. The invasive aquatic plant was found in June in the lake’s Pelahatchie Bay area.

The bay has been closed to boating since October. Pearl River Valley Water Supply District officials say they’ve killed about 90 percent of the weed, but some has survived repeated applications of herbicide. Workers are burning off grass to expose salvinia to additional spraying of herbicide.

District spokesman Bobby Cleveland says he doesn’t know when the area might reopen.

The fast-growing aquatic fern can form thick mats that choke aquatic life, hampering swimming and boating. It’s been found in five other Mississippi lakes.

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Information from: WAPT-TV, http://www.wapt.com