• 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

    Michigan man convicted on 37 charges relating to fake charities, fraud and identity theft

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jul 28, 22:45

    A Michigan man has been convicted of using fake charitable organizations in an Alaska fraud and identity theft case. On Monday, 46-year-old Alan Michael Bartlett, of Owosso, Mich., was convicted of two counts of mail fraud, 20 counts of bank fraud, five counts of wire fraud, five counts of false statements to the U.S. Postal […]

  • Sports

    Alaska athlete takes on 18-hole course at Special Olympics World Games

    by Megan Mazurek on Jul 28, 21:43

    A Palmer golfer played his personal best in a round of golf Tuesday at the Special Olympics World Games. Garrett Stortz, 24, played 8 over par on the Harding Course at Griffith Park. After the first two [holes] I started hitting it and settling down,” Stortz said. “I was making some puts and hitting the […]

  • News

    Anchorage in Transition: Melinda Freemon discusses health and the homeless

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jul 28, 21:36

    With the election of Anchorage’s new mayor, Ethan Berkowitz, comes a new administration. All this week during the 6 p.m. Evening News, KTVA be interviewing newly appointed department heads about their plans for the future of Anchorage. Tuesday, we were joined by Melinda Freemon,who was appointed by Berkowitz as the director of the Department of […]

  • News

    Kodiak museum commemorates island’s WWII history

    by Heather Hintze on Jul 28, 20:54

    It’s just an old ammunition bunker on the outside, but inside the Kodiak Military History Museum on Fort Abercrombie comes to life with the sound of old telegraph machines and ticker tape. Black and white photographs freckle the walls in between displays of artillery and uniforms. “Remember I told you about my old jacket? Want […]

  • Weather

    Evening News Weather, July 28

    by KTVA Weather on Jul 28, 20:45

    Kenai Peninsula/Prince William Sound Patchy fog will develop overnight and it will drop down to the low to mid 50s and under mostly cloudy skies will warm to the mid 60s with light wind.   Southeast Cloudy skies that will bring rain showers for the whole panhandle.   Interior/North Slope The interior will have mostly […]

  • News

    Chris Kyle Patriots Hospital opens in Anchorage

    by Alexis Fernandez on Jul 28, 20:40

    Active duty military service members and veterans in Alaska have a new hospital to turn to for help. On Tuesday, Universal Health Services — the second largest U.S. hospital chain — cut the ribbon to its new Chris Kyle Patriots Hospital at 1650 Bragaw Street in Anchorage. The 36-bed hospital will primarily focus on mental health services like […]

  • News

    25 years of ADA, Part 2: Alaskans weigh in on how far we’ve come

    by Sierra Starks on Jul 28, 20:16

    Part 2 of KTVA’s ADA series is a look at how far our state has come in 25 years of the Americans with Disabilities Act — and a look at what lies ahead as Alaskans head into the next 25 years. A major milestone in civil rights At an event the muni hosted Monday to […]

  • News

    State moves quickly to save Glenn Highway from flooding in Sutton

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jul 28, 20:07

    The Matanuska River hasn’t just threatened homes recently, it’s been threatening the Glenn Highway too. Mile 64 is considered the most threatened, with water from the river only about 20 yards away. Fear of a washout has spurred the Alaska Department of Transportation to declare an emergency. “We don’t want to lose the road,” said […]