• 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

  • ‘That is not Alaska behavior’: Residents react to video of Anchorage Carrs shooting

    by Eric Ruble on Apr 29, 11:48

    New video from a KTVA viewer shows the moments before and during a shooting at an Anchorage Carrs grocery store Saturday morning. At least two people were injured:  one Carrs employee was shot twice in the leg and another person who suffered a broken orbital socket after being punched in the face, according to court […]

  • News

    Experts: Long road ahead for Trump offshore drilling order

    by Associated Press on Apr 29, 11:40

    President Donald Trump’s executive order seeking to find new ocean expanses in the Atlantic and the Arctic for offshore drilling isn’t likely to reach its goals anytime soon, but instead will kick off a yearlong review and legal battle. Trump signed the order Friday aimed at dismantling a component of former President Barack Obama’s environmental […]

  • News

    First kelp harvest made from Ketchikan area site

    by Associated Press on Apr 29, 11:37

    KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) – Mariculture crews landed a disappointing first haul of planted seaweed recently near Ketchikan as part of an experiment on commercial kelp farming in the state. The University of Alaska Southeast, a seaweed product specialist known as Blue Evolution and a handful of commercial kelp growers are collaborating on the effort, with […]

  • News

    Record-breaking summer cruise passengers coming to Juneau

    by Associated Press on Apr 29, 11:32

    JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – A record-breaking amount of cruise passengers are expected to land in Juneau this summer. The Juneau Empire reports Cruise Lines International Association Alaska President John Binkley announced Thursday that over 1 million summer cruise passengers are traveling to Juneau. The association predicts the travelers in the city from May 1 to […]

  • Officials plan highway improvements for safety, fish passage

    by Associated Press on Apr 29, 11:29

    KASILOF, Alaska (AP) – Alaska officials say highway improvement plans will result in better fish passage and overall safety. The Peninsula Clarion reports the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities showed the latest draft of their plans for Sterling Highway on Wednesday. DOT plans to widen the existing shoulders from 4 feet wide to […]

  • Lifestyle

    Hacker releases stolen copies of Netflix series

    by Associated Press on Apr 29, 10:52

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – The Latest on a hacker releasing stolen copies of a Netflix series(all times local): 11:35 a.m. A hacker claims to have followed through on a threat to release several episodes from the upcoming season of Netflix’s hit series “Orange Is The New Black.” The hacker, which goes by the name The […]

  • Lifestyle

    Deaths from opioid epidemic may be underestimated

    by CBS News on Apr 29, 10:21

    America’s prescription drug abuse epidemic may be even more deadly than expected, a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests. Some opioid-related deaths may be missed when people die from pneumonia and other infectious diseases spurred on by drug abuse. Their death certificates may only list the infection as the […]

  • Sports

    Morgan Hooe honored with Bill MacKay Athlete of the Year award

    by Dave Goldman on Apr 28, 22:34

      In another year of standout candidates, Morgan Hooe stood the tallest. The former South High School star parlayed a brilliant season at the University of Alaska Anchorage into the athletic department’s highest honor for former student-athletes while adding a local flair as she took home the Bill MacKay Athlete of the Year award. Her […]