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Stormy Lake closed to watercraft, aircraft due to elodea

Posted: May 23, 2013 - 8:00pm

The Alaska Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation has closed Stormy Lake to watercraft and aircraft for the summer season while government officials assess and seek to control spreading of the invasive aquatic plant, elodea.

According to a State Parks press release, the recommendation to close Stormy Lake, located within the Captain Cook State Recreation Area near Nikiski, was made by a state and federal agency working group seeking to address elodea infestation on the Kenai Peninsula.

In the fall of 2012, elodea was found in Stormy and Daniels lakes. This summer, government officials plan to treat the infestation in both lakes.

Elodea infestations can be severe. Ecological impacts include reduced water quality, increased sedimentation, native vegetation displacement, and degraded salmon spawning habitat. The plant can be easily spread from small fragments picked up by watercraft or aircraft and transported to other waters where it can reproduce asexually from plant parts.

For more information, contact the Kenai/Prince William Sound Area state park office at 907-262-5581.

— Staff report

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