Document Type

Technical Report

Publication Date



Alaska -- Alien plants -- Surveys, Alaska -- Introduced organisms -- Surveys, Alaska -- Endemic plants -- Protection


Freshwater aquatic plants are found in most lakes and rivers in Alaska. They range from tiny floating plants that can form mats on a lake surface to emergent plants growing two meters above the water. Aquatic plants are an important part of freshwater environments. They provide food and shelter for a wide variety of insects, fish, mammals, and birds; stabilize shorelines; and form an important link in nutrient cycles. To date, Alaska has had relatively few problems with invasive, non-native aquatic plants. However, invasive aquatic plants pose an increasing threat to human safety and the integrity of native aquatic communities. Actions taken to detect and prevent the introduction and spread of invasive aquatic plants in Alaska are necessary in order to avoid the environmental and economic harm invasive plants have caused in other parts of the United States.

The primary purposes of this manual are to aide the identification of freshwater aquatic plants that are likely to be seen in Alaska’s lakes, streams, bogs and marshes; and to help prevent the spread of harmful invasive plants. This manual was written for people who do not necessarily have a scientific background, but it also should be useful for professionals who need assistance in identifying common aquatic species.


Prepared for Alaska Department of Fish and Game and US Fish and Wildlife Service

Persistent Identifier