Thursday, October 19, 2017

Alaska Invasive Species Workshop hosted in Anchorage

The invasive aquatic plant, elodea, is shown in Badger Slough in this 2010
photo. Photo by Tricia Wurtz, U.S. Forest Service
The Alaska Invasive Species Workshop, Oct. 24-26 in Anchorage, will highlight the economic and environmental risks associated with invasive species.

Tobias Schwörer, a public policy researcher from the Institute of Social and Economic Research, will kick off the annual workshop with a free public presentation on that topic at 7 p.m. Oct. 23 in the Anchorage Museum auditorium. The lecture will focus on the risks associated with the hardy invasive aquatic plant, elodea.

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service and the Alaska Committee For Noxious and Invasive Pest Management will host the workshop at the Anchorage Marriott Downtown.

Workshop coordinator Gino Graziano said concern about elodea keeps coming up because of new infestations in the lakes and slow-moving waters of Interior and Southcentral Alaska. Elodea can form tangled masses that foul floatplane rudders, degrade fish habitat and make boat travel difficult.

“Floatplane operators raised the alarm on Lake Hood,” Graziano said.

Herbicide treatments have been effective in Lake Hood and other lakes, but eradicating elodea in slow-moving waters provides a greater challenge, he said. This past summer Potter Marsh and Chena Slough were treated. Graziano said the plant, which is thought to have come from aquariums or science kits, spreads easily.

The invasive species workshop brings together land managers and others involved in management, research and education efforts. Other topics will include regulations and legislation; research relating to northern pike and bird vetch; invasive slugs in the Chugach National Forest; pesticide control projects; and efforts to monitor and report invasive species.

Agenda and registration information are available at For more information, contact Graziano at 907-786-6315 or

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