• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 43s

State steps in to stop elodea invasion

By Shannon Ballard Photojournalist: Rachel McPherron - 8:43 PM July 10, 2014
ANCHORAGE –

A serious problem is rising to the surface near Scott Norman’s South Anchorage home.

“You can see it all right here,” Norman pointed out.

He’s a floatplane pilot and the weed taking over the lake in his backyard is a pain in his neck.

“It wraps around the water rudders when they are down in the water and you can’t steer the aircraft, not at all,” Norman explained.

It’s called elodea and is the only known invasive aquatic plant in Alaska.

It hurts property value, fishing and recreation.

The state is preparing now to put an end to the invasion.

“It’s a monster,” said Heather Stewart, a researcher with Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources.

“It’s been quite a bit of an issue because people haven’t been seeing things get done as fast as they want them to, so we’ve kind of tried to accelerate the process of figuring out where it is specifically, how thick it is, who it’s going to impact.”

Stewart has proof the weed is spreading.

It has roots in at least 15 rivers, lakes and streams across Alaska.

“The important thing is that we identify it properly, figure out where it is and manage it correctly despite where it came from,” Stewart said.

But warmer winters and nicer summers will only make it harder to contain the elodea, according to Stewart.

Fewer ice days means increased floatplane traffic — a major way the weed travels and finds new homes.

“That would be a double whammy if we were to have higher temperatures and more ice-free days,” Stewart said.

State and federal biologists are testing herbicides in elodea-infested lakes in Kenai to see if they work.

If they do, that could be a possible answer to solving Sand Lake’ s problem.

At this point Scott Norman doesn’t care what’s done. He just wants the elodea gone.

Sand Lake is a main focus because of just how many people live nearby and rely on it. In Anchorage, elodea is also found in Little Campbell Lake and Delong Lake.

Latest Stories

  • Crime

    Fairbanks man threatens ex-girlfriend with samurai sword, drives drunk

    by Associated Press on Jul 04, 14:15

    A 38-year-old Fairbanks man is in jail after troopers say he threatened his ex-girlfriend with a samurai sword before driving drunk and rolling his vehicle. The Fairbanks Daily News Miner reports (http://bit.ly/1LKmX2H ) that the man faces several charges, including felony assault. Alaska State Troopers say the man was drinking with his ex-girlfriend early Thursday […]

  • Mt. Marathon Race

    2015 Mount Marathon women’s race: Emelie Forsberg, Allie Ostrander finish 1st, 2nd

    by KTVA Sports on Jul 04, 13:44

    Emelie Forsberg finished with a record-breaking time in the 2015 Mount Marathon women’s race. With her time of 47 minutes, 48 seconds, the seasoned trail runner broke a 25-year-old record of 50 minutes, 30 seconds set by Nancy Pease. In her first women’s Mount Marathon race, Allie Ostrander finished second in 50 minutes, 28 seconds — […]

  • Mt. Marathon Race

    Luke Jager, Riana Boonstra come out on top in Mount Marathon Juniors Race

    by KTVA Sports on Jul 04, 12:02

    Anchorage’s Luke Jager won the Juniors Mount Marathon Race with a time of 27 minutes, 39 seconds. The first girl to cross the finish line was Ninilchik’s Riana Boonstra. She finished 17th overall with a time of 32 minutes, 38 seconds.  

  • News

    Fireworks patrol starts in Anchorage

    by Kate McPherson on Jul 04, 1:51

    Anchorage Police Department Sgt. Josh Nolder is on the fireworks beat for the Fourth of July holiday. It’s not his usual focus, but the conditions forecasted over the weekend aren’t usual. “Fireworks are generally a nuisance more than anything but now this year, with the lack of snowfall and rainfall, it’s gone from a nuisance […]

  • News

    Homeless camp sets fire to Chester Creek Greenbelt Park

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jul 03, 21:47

    A dozen units from the Anchorage Fire Department responded to a fire in Chester Creek Greenbelt Park Friday night. According to AFD dispatchers, the blaze originated in a homeless camp near Ingra Street and E. 20th Avenue just after 9 p.m. and quickly spread to 40 trees. A hotshot crew from the Alaska Division of Forestry […]

  • Weather

    Evening News Weather, July 3

    by KTVA Weather on Jul 03, 21:15

    Kenai Peninsula/Prince William Sound Mostly cloudy skies with a chance an isolated shower mainly in the mountains for the western areas while coastal locations and Prince William Sound will see scattered showers increasing through the day.   Southeast Mostly sunny skies are expected with highs in the mid 60s.   Interior/North Slope Mostly sunny and […]

  • News

    Forest Fair celebrates 40 years in Girdwood

    by Heather Hintze on Jul 03, 21:08

    Every Fourth of July weekend the forest in Girdwood comes to life. The Forest Fair brings in more than 200 vendors from around the state. “I think everyone generally loves coming out here and doing this. Some come from very far to do it. We came from Juneau this year,” said Shannon Morgan, owner of the […]

  • News

    Motorcyclist killed in Seward Highway collision ID’d

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jul 03, 20:59

    Update: Saturday, July 4 at 12:47 a.m. Alaska State Troopers have identified the motorcyclist killed in Friday evening’s collision as 58-year-old Michael Kemper of Anchorage. According to troopers, Kemper was first spotted by a trooper at 7:07 p.m. driving southbound on the Seward Highway at “excessive speeds.” He allegedly ignored the trooper’s signal to pull […]