The Institute for Social and Economic Research’s Dr. Tobias Schwoerer was recently featured on to discuss elodea and its risk to Alaska’s sockeye salmon fisheries.

In the article, Schwoerer discusses the troubling spread of the invasive aquarium plant which is dispersed by float planes. Based on his research, Schwoerer estimates that elodea could have a potential cost of $159 million annually to the commercial sockeye industry with a 5% chance of that cost reaching $577 million per year. Schwoerer pointed to successful management actions across Alaska where local, state, and federal agencies have successfully applied a herbicide called fluridone to clean up infested lakes. Fluridone has minimal impact on native plants and aquatic life while being lethal for elodea. Schwoerer says, “We have a proven, successful management strategy to eradicate elodea.”

Read the piece, Invasive plant poses threat to Alaska sockeye salmon, on and learn more about Dr. Schwoerer’s research in his original article, Aquatic Invasive Species Change Ecosystem Services from the World’s Largest Wild Sockeye Salmon Fisheries in Alaska.

Tobias Schwoerer pulling Elodea out of the water while on a float plane

Tobias Schwoerer (author) on floatplane pontoon in elodea infested lake. Picture by Kristine Dunker.