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Herbicide spraying to start in fight against invasive plant

Workers will soon begin spraying herbicide to remove an invasive plant from one of Mississippi’s most popular lakes.

Giant salvinia was found in June in the Pelahatchie Bay area of Ross Barnett Reservoir, north of Jackson. The fast-growing aquatic fern is native to Brazil. It can form thick mats that choke aquatic life and hamper swimming and boating.

The lake management district says the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks will begin spraying herbicides across a 5-acre (2-hectare) area, aiming to kill salvinia. The district warns herbicides will also kill native plants such as lily pads.

Lake managers say a small patch of salvinia was previously found in 2013 but was eradicated.

Officials urge boaters to clean and dry equipment after each use to limit invasive species.

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