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Elodea Disturbing Navigation for Planes on Lake Hood
A weed infestation so bad it's disturbing navigation for planes on Lake Hood has prompted the state to request an emergency herbicide application before someone gets hurt.

Lake Hood, known as the world’s busiest floatplane base, is exploding with greenery fueled by this year's warm summer. But the lush underwater vegetation now includes recently discovered elodea, a leafy green aquarium plant invading Alaska’s slow-moving waterways and crowding out native species.

Along with fouling planes, dense mats of elodea also snag boats, reduce property values, and can threaten salmon by sheltering predatory pike. Floatplanes in summer make hundreds of daily trips on and off Lake Hood, leading to concern elodea will spread to remote water bodies with the planes unless it's stopped.

The safety risks are significant enough that the Alaska Department of Natural Resources on Thursday applied to the state Department of Environmental Conservation for an emergency exemption that slashes the time it would take to get a permit to apply herbicides to kill the weeds.


 
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Hand Harvesting of Eurasian Watermilfoil on Norwood Lake - Eurasian watermilfoil is destructive to native plants by taking up space and blocking sunlight from native species. It can also disrupt the behavior of native aquatic animal species with its density. Its density can also cause problems for boats and things such as municipal water intakes.


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