Board Declares Giant Salvinia Emergency

Action Plan Includes Total Boating Ban in Pelahatchie Bay

Acting on the advice of aquatic vegetation experts, the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District on Thursday declared an emergency related to the outbreak of the invasive plant giant salvinia, which has the capability of taking over parts or all of Barnett Reservoir in a very short time period.

“We’ve been advised that we have an opportunity to eliminate giant salvinia in Barnett Reservoir, but only if we take actions now to contain the plant to the Pelahatchie Bay area,” Barnett Reservoir general manager John Sigman said. “To do that, we have developed an action plan that we know will not be popular with all our users and residents, but we feel is necessary to control and possibly eradicate giant salvinia.”

The action plan includes a temporary ban of all boating on Pelahatchie Bay, continued extensive herbicide treatment, and lowering the lake level during the winter months to expose the plant to its one environmental weakness, cold weather.

Effective Friday (Oct. 19), all boat ramps, public and private in the Pelahatchie Bay area, will be closed to prevent the spread of the plant by boat. Giant salvinia has been shown to be viable for a week out of the water, even longer in a field of moisture like in a boat’s bilge or on the carpeted bunk board on a trailer.

Also effective that same day, passage between the main lake and Pelahatchie Bay under the bridge of Northshore Parkway will be blocked with temporary obstructions. The booms are designed to block the plant from riding wind or current from the Bay to the main lake, as well as on boats or their attachments.

The boating ban includes all types of watercraft, including fishing boats, pleasure craft, canoes, kayaks, personal watercraft and sailboats. Only vessels owned by governmental agencies and PRVWSD-approved contractors will be allowed on Pelahatchie Bay during the closure.

Residents that have waterfront leases with boats docked or in boathouses will be given until Nov. 5 to remove their boats, if desired, at Pelahatchie Shore Park boat ramp.

A critical part of the plan involves drawing down the lake during the winter months to aid in the eradication of giant salvinia. The plant has little tolerance for cold temperature.

“A cold winter, combined with low water levels, intensive herbicide application, and containment gives us an opportunity to eradicate giant salvinia this winter,” Sigman said

It is anticipated that this closure will remain in effect for six months.  PRVWSD and MDWFP will be constantly monitoring giant salvinia. Comments can be sent to PRVWSD by email to


October 2012· Found at Goshen Landing colonized near ramp. Eradicated

Summer 2015- Found at Madison Landing streaming out into open water fresh off a boat

trailer. Sprayed all of it same day. Not identified through 2017

June 26th, 2018- found at Northshore in Pelahatchie Bay (1/4 acre scattered in pads and along shoreline)

June 27th- Sprayed 200 gallons of glyphosate/surfactant (1:0.5 gallon ratio)

July 3rd- Sprayed 100 gallons (follow-up, same chemical and ratio)

July 5th-31st- Treatment of alligatorweed and water hyacinth

Aug 1st- 7th- Hydrilla survey

August 7th- Found at Northshore, Windward Oaks, north seawall, and around islands off of causeway. (1/2 acre? scattered here and there throughout a larger area)

August 8th- Sprayed 600 gallons of diquat/surfactant (1:0.5 gallon ratio)

August 10th- Sprayed 200 gallons of diquat/surfactant (1:0.5)

August 13th- Spread 20 pounds of sonar

- Sprayed 400 gallons diquat/surfactant (1:0.5)

August 20th- Sprayed 200 gallons glyphosate/diquat/surfactant (0.75:0.25/0.25) LA recommendation

August 22nd- Sprayed 200 gallons glyphosate/diquat/surfactant (0.75:0.25/0.25)

August 28th- Sprayed 200 gallons glyphosate/diquat/surfactant (0.75:0.25/0.25)

- Drone survey

August 29th- Shoreline survey on foot

August 31st- Deployment of containment boom and block net around nursery areas

September 7th- Sprayed 200 gallons glyphosate/diquat/surfactant (0.75:0.25/0.25)

September 11th- Applied 40 pounds SonarOne into shallow backwater infestations

Sprayed 100 gallons glyphosate/diquat/surfactant (0.75:0.25/0.25)

September 13th- Applied 15 pounds SonarOne into shallow backwater infestations

September 17th- Surveyed giant salvinia range for new colonies

Sprayed 50 gallons glyphosate/diquat/surfactant (0.75:0.25/0.25)

September 21st- Sprayed 400 gallons glyphosate/diquat/surfactant (0. 75:0.25/0.25)

September 24th- Sprayed 300 gallons glyphosate/diquat/surfactant (0.75:0.25/0.25)

October 2nd- Surveyed giant salvinia range for new colonies

Sprayed 100 gallons glyphosate/diquat/surfactant (0.75:0.25/0.25)

October 5th- Sprayed 300 gallons glyphosate/diquat/surfactant (0.75:0.25/0.25)

October12th- Sprayed? gallons glyphosate/diquat/surfactant, flumioxazin (0.75:0.25/0.25, 6 oz)

Added flumioxazin to add an effective (in-water) treatment for salvinia shielded by other plants from foliar spray USACE recommendation

Applied ? pounds SonarOne into shallow backwater infestations

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