- Associated Press - Friday, June 29, 2018

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Officials say they’ll try to remove an invasive aquatic plant from one of Mississippi’s most popular lakes.

Dennis Riecke (RIK’-ee) is the fisheries and environmental coordinator for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries & Parks. He says officials found giant salvinia Wednesday in the Pelahatchie Bay area of Ross Barnett Reservoir, north of Jackson.

The plant was scattered over a 5-acre (2-hectare) area. It forms thick surface mats bad for boating, fish and other plants. Riecke says officials will spray herbicide from an airboat to try and kill it.

Federal records show salvinia has been found repeatedly in the Pascagoula River system, but rarely in the Pearl River, including the reservoir.

Riecke urges boaters to clean and dry equipment after each use and before traveling elsewhere to limit spread of invasive species.

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