Elodea is a concern to Alaska because of its potential to replace native plant species, alter aquatic habitat, impede recreation, and even reduce property values. Elodea can spread easily and re-establish from just a fragment of a plant. Given the high amount of float plane traffic and recreational boating in Alaska, there are plenty of opportunities for Elodea to spread to new locations unless properly managed.  


Elodea was first discovered in Alaska in Cordova’s Eyak Lake in 1982, and was thought to have been introduced from an aquarium dump. The original infestation was found in an isolated location near Mavis Island, but Elodea has since spread throughout Eyak Lake and into several waterbodies on the Copper River Delta. These waterbodies include McKinley Lake, Wooded Pond, Wrong Way Pond, Martin Lake, Bering Lake, and several ponds and sloughs neighboring Eyak River and Alaganik Slough.   Elodea has also been found in several other places throughout Alaska: 2010: Chena Slough in Fairbanks 2011: Sand, DeLong, and Little Campbell Lakes in Anchorage 2012: Stormy and Beck Lakes on the Kenai Peninsula  2013: Daniels Lake on the Kenai Peninsula 2014: Alexander Lake in the Mat-Su Borough 2015: Lake Hood in Anchorage & Totchaket Slough near Fairbanks  

Elodea under water

A dense underwater bed of Elodea in Martin Lake on the Copper River Delta.

Photo: Kate Mohatt, USFS



For more information and to learn about what is being done to manage Elodea in other parts of Alaska, click on the links below:







VIDEO of the evening meeting on March 3rd taken by the Prince William Sound Science Center is available on our YouTube channel: Elodea Meeting Video.

On March 3rd & 4th, 2015, the Copper River Watershed Project hosted a successful two day meeting and workshop in Cordova that gathered together local and statewide stakeholders to discuss Elodea management in the watershed. On September 9, 2015, we held a second public meeting to discuss Elodea surveys conducted by the U.S. Forest Service during summer 2015 on the Copper River Delta, and an herbicide treatment trial being considered in Wrong Way Pond in 2016. Take a look at the presentations given during each event! 

March 2015:

Successful Management & Eradication of Nuisance Aquatic Plants: Lars Anderson

Elodea surveys on the Chugach National Forest: Kate Mohatt

Elodea in the Copper River Watershed: Heather Stewart

Elodea on the Kenai Peninsula and what we’re doing about it: John Morton

Ecological Role of Elodea in Lakes and Ponds on the Copper River Delta, Alaska: Gordie Reeves

Invasive species management & the human dimension: Tobias Schwoerer

Sonar Aquatic Herbicide: Andrew Skibo

September 2015:

Elodea in the Copper River Basin: Heather Stewart

Distribution and Ecology of Elodea on the Copper River Delta: Kate Mohatt

Aquatic Weeds and Vectors of Introduction: Mark Sytsma

Sonar Aquatic Herbicide: Andrew Skibo



Report any Elodea that you find on the Copper River Delta and do your part to prevent its spread! Inspect and clean float planes, boats, other watercraft, and trailers if you have been in infested waters.

See our Frequently Asked Questions for more information!


 Elodea at weir

Elodea clings to rocks after being washed over the weir between Eyak Lake and Eyak River in January 2015.

Photo: Danielle Verna, CRWP