The Kenai Peninsula, Fairbanks, Cordova and Anchorage are all current hot spots for elodea, a “very scary plant” according to local biologists. Elizabeth Bella from the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge explains…
Bella: “Basically, the issue with elodea is that is spreads very rapidly, it grows very fast and it tends to clog up the entire waterway. There are some other sub-effects that occur, it can reduce the amount of oxygen present in the lake, which can in turn effect fish and wildlife populations that use the lake and it can also prevent fish from spawning in the lake.”
On the Peninsula, Daniels and Stormy Lakes are known to be affected with elodea, with the weed causing a concern for sockeye in Daniels Lake.
John Morton with the Refuge said they hope to begin chemical treatment in July, either with Diquat (primarily a growth suppressant that doesn’t kill the root) for $200/surface acre or Floridone $750/surface acre. Morton estimated…
Morton: “If you do the math on something like 1,000 ares, surface acres, that’s the two lakes combined, that’s $800,000 to treat those two lakes right now if we went at it. So, the trick is we have to go fast, so even as we’re looking at its distribution on the Kenai Peninsula, if it’s widely distributed, we’re not going to do anything. We’re pretty much dead in the water, and we’re going to have to live with the outcome.”
Morton suggested using Diquat for now to suppress growth until additional funds are available.
for more, read: Catching Elodea Early To Save Alaskan Waterways.