ELODEA

Elodea Boat
Elodea Paddle

Stop the Spread of this Aquatic Invasive Species

The more Elodea spreads the less control we will have over the outcome and cost to Alaskans. Call and report sightings of Elodea.

Elodea in Alaska

Thought first documented in 1982 in Eyak Lake, Cordova, land managers did not take notice of this plant until 2010, when it was found growing aggressively in Chena Slough near Fairbanks. Elodea is not native to Alaska, and it is the first invasive aquatic plant known here. It has the potential to impact freshwater resources and fish habitat statewide. A coordinated control effort is needed now!

In other places Elodea has invaded, it has dramatically impeded navigability, impacted native ecosystems, and made fishing problematic or impossible.

Elodea Around the World

Elodea has a long history as an invasive plant. It was introduced to Great Britain over a century ago, and has since spread to Scandinavia and across Russia to Lake Baikal.

Potential Impacts on Alaska

  • Degrade Fish habitat and displace native flora and fauna.
  • Make boat travel difficult and reduce recreation opportunities
  • Endanger safe float plane operation.
  • Alter freshwater habitats, including decreased flow & increased sedimentation.
  • Reduce property values of adjacent landowners.

It Spreads Easily Because:

  • Broken segments will form new plants.
  • It can survive when frozen in ice and travel long distances downstream.

Identifying Characteristics

  • Leaf edges are very finely toothed.
  • Leaves in whorls of 3 or occasionally 4.
  • Leaves are 1/4-1/2" long & 1/8" wide.
  • Stem is a lighter green than the leaves and grow in a tangled mass.

Are Other Waters at Risk?

YES! If nothing is done, Elodea will spread downstream and into new waterbodies - potentially carried by floatplanes, anglers, and recreational users. Elodea prefers cool, clear, slow waters with silty bottoms.

Known Locations of Elodea in Alaska

  • Fairbanks: Chena River, Chena Slough, Chena Lake
  • Cordova: Eyak Lake, Alaganik Slough, Mckinley Lake, Martin Lakes
  • Anchorage: Little Campbell, Sand Lake, Delong Lake

How You Can Help

  • Leadership, initiative, cooperation, funding, and fast action are all needed to solve this growing problem.
  • Support management efforts statewide.
  • Volunteer to help educate stakeholders.
  • When you are on the water, follow simple procedures to prevent spread of this plant.
Stop Hitchikers

Follow these simple guidelines:

CLEAN

  • Remove all visible mud, plants, fish/animals from equipment.

DRAIN

  • Eliminate water from all equipment before transporting. Much of the recreational equipment we use can collect water and harbor hitchhikers.

DRY