Echo Park Lake’s wetlands take a winter break

Pieces of stalk float on water under netting. Darrell Kunitomi

Pink Apple Snail eggs on aquatic plants/Darrell Kunitomi

When Echo Park Lake reopened this summer after a two-year-long  closure and clean up, the newly planted wetlands were thick with flowering plants and aquatic grasses. But those wetlands, which were planted earlier this year to help cleanse the water, have dramatically shrunk in size during the fall, with birds pecking away at the remaining stalks. Darrell Kunitomi and other park visitors have grown worried as the wetlands have withered away. “Only floating stalks remain around the lake, from south to north, all gone,” he said. What’s going on?

While some residents had feared Apple Snails may have damaged the plants, Cora Jackson-Fossett, a spokeswoman for the Department of Public Works, says the aquatic plants known as Arrowheads and the rest of wetlands are fine. They will return come spring:

The giant Arrowheads are dormant during the winter and aquatic birds called ‘coots’ are slipping through the nets and pecking away at the tops.  However, the roots of the arrowheads are safe and the plants will sprout again in the spring.

Echo Park Lake wetlands as they appeared in August/Darrell Kunitomi


  1. Is it me or has anyone else see the mice or rats running around near the lake as the sun sets?

  2. I was wondering the same thing. Eastsider read my mind again.

    I wonder if the nets will ever be taken down?

  3. …am suspecting more is at play here than winter dormancy, Suspecting the ravenous Apple snails. Much evidence of chewed-on stalks and leaves — if and when the lilies and arrowhead plants regenerate will be relieved.

    Apple snails are terrible pest, incredibly destructive and for spokeperson to totally deflect, well, there you have it. Waiting for regeneration, or peeps with saute pans with garlic to appear.

  4. It’s a joke

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