Welcome to the Elodea Working Group

This site is dedicated to providing the most current information to citizens and land managers about the aquatic invasive plant, Elodea nuttallii, infestation in Alaska - with particular emphasis on the Fairbanks area.

Background:

In 2010 Elodea nuttallii was discovered growing in the Fairbanks area in Chena Slough. Elodea has the potential to impact Alaska’s freshwater resources by directly competing with native flora. The impacts include:

  • Example of what can happen when non-native invasive plants are introduced into freshwater habitatsdegraded fish habitat and displacement of native plants,
  • alteration of freshwater habitats, including decreased water flow and increased sedimentation,
  • endanger safe float plane operation,
  • impediment to boat travel and reduce other recreational opportunities, and
  • reduction in property values in impacted areas.

Since its discovery, Fairbanks Soil and Water Conservation District (through the Cooperative Weed Management Area) has worked with local and federal partners to coordinate the response effort.

In Fairbanks Elodea has colonized large portions of the Chena Slough, making the slough nearly impassable in some areas. Elodea is also growing in Chena Lake, a popular Borough recreation area, and in isolated locations in the Chena River. Elodea is also known to be growing in several lakes in Anchorage and the Cordova area,

If no action is taken, the potential for Elodea to move downstream into the Yukon River drainage is great. Please continue your support for invasive species management in Alaska. It is important that particular species, such as Elodea, be controlled before they spread to new locations. The longer we wait to eradicate this plant, the higher the risk of irreparable impacts to freshwater systems and fish habitat.     

Thank you for your support!

The Elodea Working Group would like to acknowledge the following funding sources:

  • Alaska Sustainable Salmon Fund - NOAA & State of Alaska
  • Legislature of the State of Alaska
  • Partners for Fish and Wildlife - US Fish & Wildlife Service
  • Early Detection - US Fish & Wildlife Service

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