Stormy Lake Recovering Well

A photo from Stormy Lake's shore (adfg.alaska.gov).

A photo from Stormy Lake's shore (adfg.alaska.gov).

     Stormy Lake has had its share of setbacks; in 2012 public access was prohibited as the Alaska Department of Fish and Game begin treating the lake with the piscicide rotenone to the eliminate the invasive northern pike. During the treatment officials discovered elodea, a troublesome invasive plant found in multiple lakes across the peninsula. 

     Fish and Game reintroduced four species to the lake in 2013; arctic char, Dolly Varden, rainbow trout and longnose suckers, all of which have been growing well. "The fish restoration of Stormy Lake has been very fast," said Robert Begich, area biologist for Fish and Game. "We put fish back into the lack, and plus the stream that flow from Stormy Lake into Swanson River, allowing fish in the river to recolonize the lake." 

     And while treatment has gone well, the lake is still closed to the public; herbicide treatment (fluridone) proved effective, but officials want to make sure there is no elodea left before opening the public boat launch. "For all practical purposes, we do think it's gone," said John Morton, Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Supervisory Fish & Wildlife Biologist. "But with this much money, we do really want to make sure it's gone. But we really expect Stormy Lake to be open in the spring for the public."

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