State fights invasive elodea in Mat-Su lakes with 30-gallon barrels of herbicide
The state is working to get rid of invasive elodea in two Mat-Su Borough lakes.
Earlier this year the Department of Fish and Game closed Alexander and Sucker lakes due to concern the elodea problem would spread.
Elodea is a non-native, aquarium plant that can ruin wild fish habitats. It's now illegal to bring into the state.
The Division of Agriculture is using helicopters to fly out 30-gallon barrels of herbicide to the remote lakes west of Willow.
Ten acres of elodea was initially discovered in Alexander lake in 2014. The Department of Natural Resources staff found the plant spread to 500 acres just two years later.
Director Dave Schade said the plant makes it difficult for floatplanes to land.
“Our greater concern is a one-centimeter square of that material on a rudder of that in the next lake starts another infestation,” Schade said. “So it’s a really simple plant, but being that it’s so simple it jumps from lake to lake real easily.”
DNR reports elodea has been successfully eradicated from Lake Hood and Sand, Little Campbell and Delong lakes in Anchorage, as well as several lakes on the Kenai Peninsula.
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