Today, what once was a scenic lake is covered in chest-high weeds. “ Boaters and fisherman enjoy going to Lake Bridgeport during the summer. But in the summer of 2013 the boat ramps were unusable so the number of residents going to the lake dropped. There are dead fish floating to the shoreline as well as many other wildlife animals. The lake tested positive for Zebra Mussel larva, which is shell like creatures that are very sharp and stick to boats, anchors and docks. The Mussels are very dangerous for the lake environment, but they also eat bacteria so they could help the lake water clear up. If no water is drained out of Lake Bridgeport then the residents of Eagle Mountain Lake and Lake Worth could possibly run out of drinking water.
Populations of the zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha (Pallas), were first found in the Laurentian Great Lakes in 1988 (Hebert et al., 1989). This species is native to the Caspian, Aral, and Black Seas and the rivers that drain into them but has spread throughout Europe, principally during the 18th century. Since it is restricted to estuarine and freshwater habitats, it is presumed that it was introduced into North America by ballast waters of transoceanic vessels. Based on the substantial amount of genetic variation found in these initial populations, as estimated from electrophoretic variation of allozymes, the colonization of the Great Lakes was by a large number of immigrants and not just a few founders
As well as pollution, invasive species are damaging the lake ecosystems and food chains, made fragile by pollution and overfishing. The introduction of a new species throws off the balance of food chains. Some common invasive species include the sea lamprey, Asian carp, and zebra mussels, among many others. Zebra mussels have dramatically influenced and affected stable food chains by reducing the amount of zooplankton and phytoplankton. This presents a problem, as fish mostly feed on the drifters, and so they go hungry and die, leaving no food for larger fish to prey on. In addition to underwater disruption, it affects us as well, but only slightly. Plankton and algae especially are the most productive aquatic producers of oxygen, and by the decreasing population, we lose oxygen as well. The sea lamprey is also a problem, though it is not so influential to ecosystems as the zebra mussel.
Some examples include the zebra mussel, sea lamprey, and Asian carp. The zebra mussel first came to the great lakes by traveling in the ballast water of a transoceanic vessel. Over the years, it has spread into the entire great lakes system. They are very dense with contaminants, which causes predators to stray away from them and not digest them. The zebra mussel has had many negative impacts on the ecosystem. A zebra mussel can attach themselves firmly to any solid object, which has caused water intake and discharge pipes to clog. Some other impacts include suppressing native mussels, over clarifying the water, and stripping water from various plankton that native fish eat. Sea lamprey are another invasive species in the great lakes. A sea lamprey is an eel like fish that sucks bodily fluids from other fish. They have traveled to the great lakes on their own by swimming up the Hudson River. They have contributed to the collapse of the whitefish and lake trout fisheries. Some prevention actions have been put in place and include chemical treatments of spawning
Species have been invading the Great Lakes for a very long time. “Scientists estimate that there are more than 185 invasive species in the Great Lakes today.” One of the species that invade the Great Lakes is the Round Goby. This animal usually feeds on fish eggs, Yellow Perch, Bass, and Walleye. The Round Goby is an invasive species because it kills other species, or it can make them extinct. Another example of invasive specie is Quagga Mussel. The Quagga Mussel usually sits in lakes or oceans, building up over a long period of time, this leads to millions, and millions
A species that are non-native to where they are located and are likely to cause environmental or economical issues; that is what invasive species are known for. They are transported through human activities such as trading; they may have been from the person’s clothing or from what they were travelling
Zebra Mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) Round Goby (Neogobius melanostomus) Alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) Asian carps Invading species can be introduced to our environment by many different ways This particular species of fish has an average size of 25.cm when fully matured. There has been reports that the Round Goby has been establishing its place in our Great Lakes and its population fully established themselves in 1998, now they are a part of our ecosystem in Lake Ontario and the Round Goby population has taken on the role of prey for many predator fish. The Goby’s main food sources are the following ; the zebra mussel, quagga mussel, miniatur fish, and fish eggs. The Round Goby is now “one of the most common fish in the lower Great
Alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) The alewife is part of the anadromous (type of fish that migrate from freshwater to spawn) species of herring in the North America region, sometimes reaching a maximum length of 40 centimeters, with an average length of 25 centimeters.It is also known as the gaspereau in Atlantic
Are What You Eat”. By removing the starfish, the mussel population should start to expand and grow over 200 weeks.
Sea lampreys are a large problem in the Great Lakes. They entered the Great Lakes from the northern and western Atlantic in the 1800s through locks and canals. Sea lampreys are a problem because they prey on large fish, and are one of the major contributors to the decline of species of lake trout and whitefish. They are aggressive predators, and are very parasitic. Only one out of seven fish attacked by sea lampreys will survive.(glcf.org)
Not all infested lakes say they are. The DNR Believes that “ Female zebra mussels can produce 100,000 to 500,000 eggs per year.”(Zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha)page 1). In other words, it only takes one female zebra mussel to completely infest a lake. This shows that it is important to not let one member of an invasive species get to an uninfested lake. This information then leads one to believe that all lakes need to post that they are infested.
The Preservation of the Brook Floaters The brook floater, scientifically known as Alasmidonta Varicosa, is a type of mussel that lives in flowing waters, like streams and rivers, in the U.S. and Canada. While, very important to our aquatic ecosystems, this mussel species is predicted to become extinct because brook floaters are sensitive to pollution and aren’t protected very well. Their population has been slowly decreasing since 2002 and they will be gone soon if nothing is done to stop it.
Zebra and quagga mussels are some of the most invasive species impacting the US Great Lakes. Because the mussels take available phytoplankton for other organisms and increase water clarity, they cause changes to the ecological structure of the lake community (GLIN Sept 2016). The introduction of these animals, according to AIU online, is due to cargo ships leaving port transfer millions of gallons of local water into their ships to act as ballast as they travel along the ocean. Once these ships make arrive at their destination, they dump their ballast water leaving behind the mussels.
Natural History of Zebra Mussels Invasive species aren’t anything new in Minnesota; however, “over the past 500 years, more than 4,500 species have established populations in the United States” (Benson, 2015). Zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) are one of those invasive species. Named because of their zebra-like stripes, these bi-valve mussels live between 4-5 years and grow to about 50 millimeters. Zebra mussels are native to western Russia near the Black and Caspian Seas. Construction of canals aided their spread throughout Europe between the 1700s and the 1800s (Jensen, 2009). By the 1830s, zebra mussels had spread throughout Europe and Britain. Some researchers caution drawing too many comparisons between the european species and the
Zebra Mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) a small filter feeding species. A single animal can filter one liter of water per day. A grown adult can range from one inch to two inches in size. One mussel has the ability to produce 100,000 eggs. Today, it is believed the great lakes are host to 10 trillion Zebra mussels. Zebra mussels feed mainly on plankton a very small aquatic creature that is native to the lakes’ and a primary food source of native fish. With the plankton population decreasing the water clarity has increased, the extra light reaching deeper into the lakes water allows for algae growth. Many of the algae blooms occurring in the lakes and rivers are very toxic to the native wildlife and even humans. Records have indicated that in 1985 vessels bound for the great lakes from freshwater locations in European, used fresh water to fill the ballast tanks. Once across the Ocean the vessels dumped the foreign water. Little thought was given regarding what was contained within the vessels ballast tanks.