Stormy Lake closed to watercraft and aircraft this summer due to Elodea
SOLDOTNA, Alaska – Stormy Lake is closed to watercraft and aircraft for the summer season while government officials assess and seek to control spreading of the invasive aquatic plant, Elodea.
The director’s order closing Stormy Lake – located within the Captain Cook State Recreation Area near Nikiski – was signed on Monday. The closure was recommended 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 – the latter of the two located outside of the state park boundary. This summer, government officials expect to treat the infestation in both lakes.
Elodea infestations can be severe and the plant can easily spread to other water bodies by watercraft and aircraft. Ecological impacts include reduced water quality, increased sedimentation, native vegetation displacement, and degraded salmon spawning habitat. Elodea can also impact recreation use by entangling outboard motors, decreasing fishing opportunities, and creating undesirable conditions for swimming and wading. 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.
The requested action is consistent with state park regulations that allow the closure of state parks to all public use or place restrictions on a use or activity when necessary for public safety or for the protection of natural resources, according to Kenai/Prince William Sound Area Superintendent Jack Blackwell.
For more information, please contact the Kenai/Prince William Sound Area state park office at 907-262-5581.