Mussels

flowerbug

Active Member
i thought i would pass this along to people who are wondering what happens to a lake that gets overrun.

the Great Lakes have been overrun (and will be again i'm sure), but all sorts of invaders. it's not a pleasant event i'm sure to the many creatures, but not all hope is lost. i've talked a little about this to Wayne because it caught my interest when i came across it enough to remember it.

when reading a recent enough book on the Life and Death of the Great Lakes (i got it from the library :) )


there were some very interesting dynamics going on including one that i witnessed myself (i'll come back to this below). the one i particularly wanted to note is about the Whitefish. what happened to them when their food sources were restricted? the population went down and then it started to change. the change is still going on (i've not seen any news about it recently but i doubt they're gone from the lakes completely).

the changes were the fish were eating the mussels, they were developing more muscle themselves to help crush the shells and their buttholes were getting bigger to be able to pass the crushed shells out of their bodies (that's not ouchless TP!).

i don't know what will happen at LP with the mussels, but it will be interesting to see if any of the species there will have similar adaptations we can observe.

as for the change i observed as a kid the Saginaw Bay was a tremendous perch fishery. why? the water was dirty enough they could hide from other predators and there was a lot of food. after some years of cleaning up the worst of the pollution the clarity of the water changed and also the predators changed. the perch fishery is still there, just not nearly as much as it was back then, but the other fish are there and made up for it for a while. i'm not sure where the recent fish levels are at or what the current issues are (other than the mussels and the greatly feared potential invasion from the asian carps) but i find such dynamics interesting - how some things don't work as intended or our understanding isn't quite full enough yet.
 
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