Lakes of the Klutlan moraines originate by down-melting of stagnant ice under a mantle of rock debris and vegetation ranging from scattered herbs and shrubs on the younger moraines to multiple-generation closed spruce forest on the oldest moraines, which are 600-1200 yr old. Lakes on the youngest moraines are temporary, turbid with glacial silt, and marked by unstable ice-cored slopes. On older moraines most lakes have clear water and stable slopes. On the oldest moraines many lakes have brown water caused by dissolved humic materials derived from the thick forest floor, but even here some slopes are unstable because of continued melting of buried ice. Morainic lakes contain bicarbonate waters of moderate alkalinity and conductivity and low levels of nutrients. The highly diverse phytoplankton is dominated by chrysophytes and cryptomonads, with few diatoms. Extremely low values for phytoplankton biomass place most of the lakes in an "ultraoligotrophic" category. Zooplankton is dominated by copepods, which were found even in ice ponds only a few years old, and by the cladoceran Daphnia pulex. Surface-sediment samples contained a total of 16 species of chydorid Cladocera. Of these, Alonella excisa and Alona barbulata are apparently the pioneer species in the youngest lakes. Chydorus sphaericus only appears in lakes of the oldest moraines. A successional pattern is not conspicuous, however, partly because some of the lakes on the older moraines originated by recent collapse over buried ice. Lakes on the upland outside the dead-ice moraines yielded 39 species in the zooplankton. The distinctive assemblage on upland lakes may relate more to different water chemistry than to age.