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Two Species of Elodea Could be the Demise of Alaska’s Pristine Waters
Two species of elodea have been found recently in a handful of lakes and sloughs in Alaska. While native in some of the lower 48 states, these species are the first invasive aquatic weeds in Alaska.

A big concern is how the alien weed will degrade fish habitat for species such as salmon, trout and grayling. Another is how to stop the spread.

Floatplanes are a diabolically effective way for the plant to colonize new lakes and rivers. In September, Steve Swenson, with the US Forest Service conducted an aerial study landed on elodea-infested Martin Lake. Before departing the aquatic plants were carefully removed from the rudders of the float plane.

However, shortly after takeoff a piece of elodea was noticed on the rudder. Unfortunately there was nothing that could be done and shortly before landing at Hinchinbrook Island, the hitch hiker was gone.

 
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Stormwater Pollution is Killing Coho Before Spawning - Researchers at NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle worked with collaborators, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, local tribes and the Wild Fish Conservancy, to survey 51 sites from 2000 to 2011 in streams all over the Puget Sound basin. They used the survey data with a new computer model to map predicted coho death rates. The results show that in an estimated 40 percent of their range in the Puget Sound Basin, 10 to 40 percent of coho salmon die before they can even spawn because of pollution.


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