Non-Native Weed Taking Over Some Bayous In Jackson County - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

08/25/05

Non-Native Weed Taking Over Some Bayous In Jackson County

The slick water near the Dead River Bayou is now dotted with green patches of weeds.

"The common name for it is giant salvinia ," Shimp's Marina owner Debbra Shimp says.

Shimp says the foreign plant started showing up just three months ago. Now, she says, it's becoming a nuisance.

"When you first see it and look at it in a small amount, it has its own natural beauty to it. Once you find out its characteristics, it's something you definitely don't want around," Shimp says. "A small, little piece will multiply in a weeks time."

Eventually it blankets large areas of water. DMR officials say, within no time, this weed can destroy the natural habitat.

"What it's doing now is blocking out all of the sunlight for the growth of the plants on the bottom. It's slowly pulling oxygen from this water. The habitat that's in here will either die off or we won't have them," Shimp says.

DMR officials have released weevils to start eating the weed, but it could take a few years to see any results.

"Who knows what it's going to do to our wildlife and fish in the area by that time," Shimp says.

But both Shimp and DMR officials say there is something you can do.

"The best thing they can do is rake this stuff out, pile it in a pile and burn it," Shimp says.

And clean your boat and trailer after each boating trip.

"Do not take it this out into the river system. By doing that, all you're doing is spreading it further," Shimp adds.

Although this will never get rid of the Giant Salvinia, it will at least keep its damage to a minimum.

By Jaimee Goad

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