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All Species

Elodea

Elodea canadensis, E. nuttallii
Christian Fischer, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Why is it a problem?

  • The first invasive aquatic plant documented in Alaska
  • Forms dense mats that displace and shade out native aquatic vegetation
  • Increases water turbidity, alters water chemistry
  • Degrades habitat for native salmon and other fish species
  • Plant fragments are easily spread on boats, trailers, floatplanes, fishing gear, and other equipment – a single plant fragment can quickly grow into a large infestation
  • Survives extended periods of freezing and drying out
  • Creates hazardous and undesirable conditions for boaters, floatplane pilots, and swimmers
  • Large infestations reduce the scenic quality of natural settings and reduce property value

How do I manage this plant?

  • Eradication is labor intensive and can be quite expensive – prevention is key!
  • Mechanical control causes stem fragmentation and makes removal efforts counterproductive. If using manual or mechanical control, use extreme caution to ensure all plant fragments are removed.
  • Clean, drain, dry, and inspect boats and gear before moving between waterbodies. Remove any plant parts found, and dispose of them in the trash.
  • Learn to identify Elodea and report any sightings.

More info on species biology

Flowering Elodea: Christian Fischer, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons; Clump of Elodea collected from an Alaskan lake during a survey: Dan Coleman, Alaska DNR; Elodea infested lake: USFWS