Catching Elodea Early To Save Alaskan Waterways

Optimism and invasive species aren’t always mentioned in the same sentence, but Elizabeth Bella at Kenai National Wildlife Refuge said they’re launching an early attack on the invasive plant ‘elodea’ in Stormy and Daniels Lakes…


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.”


The plant also devalues surrounding property, as it makes the waterway murky and difficult to swim or boat in.¬†Bella said this has the potential to be a serious issue, but the prognosis is good…


Bella: “So we’re optimistic that if we do implement this Early Detection Rapid Response Plan starting this summer, as soon as the ice is out, we’ll be able to completely remove the populations in these two lakes, through the combination of different techniques to remove it.”


State House Representative Paul Seaton has also introduced legislation to form a statewide quick response plan to invasive species.


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