U.S. Great Lakes Fish
- White perch are native to Atlantic coastal region of the United States and invaded the Great Lakes through the Erie and Welland Canals.
- White perch are competitors of native fish species and have the potential to cause declines of fish populations because they eat eggs of walleye and other fish species.
- The round goby appeared in the St. Clair River in 1990 and spread to all of the Great Lakes by 1994.
- It is believed that the round goby came in the ballast water from a European ship.
- The round goby is native to the Black and Caspian Seas in Europe.
- This goby feeds voraciously, and eats other species eggs when they take over a spawning grounds.
- The goldfish is a domesticated carp, first bred in ancient China for ornamental gardens. For centuries, goldfish were prized symbols of luck and fortune. Shortly after they made their way to the United States in the mid-1800s, however, they transitioned from the exotic to the mundane.
- Freed from the constraints of a tank, goldfish balloon to the size of footballs. Within a few generations, they revert to natural yellow and brown colors, in place of bright orange that breeders try to achieve.
- They are also an ecological nightmare. Goldfish swim along the bottom of lakes and rivers, uprooting vegetation, disturbing sediment and releasing nutrients that trigger excess algal growth. They feed broadly, eating algae, small invertebrates and fish eggs. To add insult to injury, they transmit exotic diseases and parasites.
- There are three species of Asian carp that are considered invasive and a threat to the Great Lakes: the bighead, silver and black carp. Silver and bighead carp are filter-feeding fish and consume plant and animal plankton.
- Asian carp can grow to large sizes: some as large as 110 pounds, though the average size is around 30-40 pounds. Bighead and silver carp are voracious eaters, capable of eating 5-20 percent of their body weight each day.
- They consume plankton-algae and other microscopic organisms-stripping the food web of the key source of food for small and big fish. Black carp differ in that they consume primarily mollusks, and threaten native mussel and sturgeon populations. They can grow to seven feet in length and over 100 pounds.
LARGE MOUTH BASS
- The Largemouth Bass is one of the most popular gamefish in Michigan.
- It lives in shallow water habitats; particularly among reeds, waterlilies and other aquatic vegetation
- In Michigan, Largemouth Bass are seldom found deeper than 20 feet.
- They prefer clear waters with no noticeable current and do not tolerate excessive turbidity and siltation. In winter they dwell on or near the lake bottom, but stay fairly active throughout the year.
- The Hybrid Bluegill is a cross between a Male Bluegill and a Female Green Sunfish, and is sometimes referred to as a Hybrid Sunfish. Popular sport fish and important food source for Bass.
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