Water lettuce at Echo Park Lake

A carpet of water lettuce  has spread across and covered sections of Echo Park Lake.

Echo Park -- Algae bloomsPink blobs. Fish herpes. Echo Park Lake has been beset by all sorts of problems over the years. Now, comes the latest: "water lettuce."

The aquatic plant Pistia stratiotes -- aka water lettuce or water cabbage -- has been creeping across the surface of the lake in recent weeks, according to some frequent park visitors.

In one spot, a large floating green mat of leaves now spreads across the water from the eastern bank to the island in the north end of the lake. Water lettuce has also cropped up in the lotus bed and has taken over some of the water lily beds. 

Water lettuce floats across Echo Park Lake

Water lettuce floats across open water

Water lettuce is regarded by many as an invasive species of aquatic plant, which can reduce the amount of oxygen in water by blocking sunlight. In some states, like Illinois, it is  illegal to introduce water lettuce into lakes and rivers.

So, what's being done at Echo Park Lake to remove the water lettuce? The Eastsider is checking with the Department of Recreation and Parks to find what if anything will be done.

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