• 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

  • Sports

    Slideshow: Knik 200 sled dog race

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jan 31, 20:10

    It was said that you could “feel the fury in the air,” as 30 teams left the start of the Knik 200 sled dog race at the Deshka Landing Airstrip Saturday afternoon in Willow. Finishing the Knik 200 is a test run for some of the mushers and their dogs, a preparation for Iditarod. “For a lot […]

  • Weather

    Weekend weather forecast

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jan 31, 19:51

    Sunny skies have taken over the Anchorage area and will be sticking around for the next five to seven days. High pressure has moved in from the west. It really has taken over all of the Interior stretching into the Northwest. This dry pattern will not allow any storm system to track in for about […]

  • News

    UPDATE: 2 in hospital after planes collide mid-air in the Valley

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jan 31, 15:36

    Troopers are responding to a plane crash in the Mat-Su Valley that occurred Saturday afternoon. Just after 1 p.m., Alaska State Troopers received a report that two aircrafts collided mid-air in the Valley, said AST spokeswoman Megan Peters. Authorities responded to two separate wreckage sites, in the area of Knik-Goose Bay Road and Vine Road. Both planes were […]

  • News

    Less than 50 days ’til Alaska sees 1st day of spring

    by Janessa Webb on Jan 31, 14:19

    While the Midwest and portions of the East coast have been shoveling their way out of a snowstorm, it’s well below average in the snowfall department across the 49th state. A large dome of high pressure took over the state Sunday afternoon, causing temperatures across the southern Seward Peninsula and North Slope to hit 30 […]

  • News

    McDonald’s around Anchorage to let customers ‘pay with lovin’

    by Sierra Starks on Jan 31, 13:57

      Imagine this. A customer walks into his local McDonald’s restaurant to order from the breakfast menu. “Two hash browns and a small coffee,” he tells the cashier, Matt. Instead of giving the customer his total to pay, the cashier says, “You know what? For your payment today, do you have your cell phone with […]

  • News

    UPDATE: Begich will not run for Anchorage mayor, will head company instead

    by Sierra Starks on Jan 31, 13:04

    Former Sen. Mark Begich’s next move is no longer a secret — he will not be running for the Mayor of Anchorage in this year’s election. The former senator has announced that he is instead creating his own company, Northern Compass Group. Begich says the company will focus on developing businesses and working on public […]

  • Sports

    Local Seahawks fans voice their support ahead of Super Bowl Sunday

    by on Jan 30, 23:11

    The Seattle Seahawks continue preparing for Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale, Ariz. Fans back in Anchorage are sending a loud message to their favorite team hoping the Seahawks win their second straight championship. Fans staged a rally early Friday night at Flat Top Pizza. It took place after they took part in another event at […]

  • News

    Former NFL player helps teens become successful, avoid trouble with the law

    by Dave Leval on Jan 30, 22:50

    Former defensive end Mao Tosi has tackled many people during his playing days in college and in the NFL with the Arizona Cardinals. Being home in Anchorage, however, may provide his biggest obstacle. Ten years ago, Tosi created AK Pride, a program in which he teams mentors with kids in a variety of programs ranging […]