In 1995, the Army Corps of Engineers built a weir at Walkiah Bluff near Picayune, MS to split flow between the East and West Pearl Rivers. From the beginning, the weir sent 70% of the water down the West Pearl and 30% down the East. For years the weir has been deteriorating and this year it is almost gone. The diversion is now sending about 90% of the water down the West Pearl.
Since the weir at Walkiah Bluff has failed and water flow has been greatly reduced to the East Pearl River, a USFWS representative and our PRK Board member, Jessica Gauley, visited the area in June to check the status of the local mussel population. The East Pearl water level is extremely low and dead mussels are littering the dried-up section of the riverbed. USFWS looked for any mussels listed on the threatened or endangered species list but did not find any. US Army Corps of Engineers representatives were also on the scene and were reported to be monitoring the river level with drones. Jessica said that when she could see what looked like thousands of mussels crowded together in the remaining river water. Photos courtesy: Mike Chapman
Plan to repair weir presented:
Pearl Riverkeeper is a licensed member of the Waterkeeper Alliance, the largest and fastest growing nonprofit solely focused on clean water.