The Invasive Dilemma in the Great Lakes

The Invasive Dilemma in the Great Lakes

250px-Grass.Carp2webIf you live anywhere near any of the Great lakes chances are you have at least heard of the problem of invasive species, such as zebra muscles or more recently the Ongoing Asian Carp Drama.  The main concern regarding the movement of the carp, more than the zebra muscle, centers on their tendency to dominate and push out indigenous species in the lakes and rivers. Effectively this decimates the ecological and economic basis of these waterways, potentially permanently altering the food chain and proving impossible to reverse or manage.

However, recent surveys of the Great Lakes, specifically Lake Huron, have revealed a mystery that at least lights a small candle of hope for the native population of fish.  Many who fish the lakes are aware of a small fish known as the “Chub” or “Bloater” which, according to recent data collected by the USGS, has made a surprising comeback.  This small fish is not the only one to see resurgence in Lake Huron as adult lake trout have also managed to achieve a “lake-wide sustained production” according to the USGS survey.   In combination with these unexpected developments, there is also a rise in what are termed “prey fish”, that is the smaller food fish of the larger species, indicating that the food web that was thought to be broken may be on the mend.

These developments are surprising and that accounts for the uncertainty among experts as to the cause.  Some feel that the amount of fish caught in certain parts of the lake may not reflect a lake-wide upturn but the data is too fresh to state categorically.  As these developments continue, stay tuned as we continue to bring what’s happening out there to you.

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