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tearin' lips

Spiney Waterflea.

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I made this post under grassy bay & little trout but I feel that is is relevent information and needs its own post.

Though the decision of the Park is necessary for the prevention of the spiney waterflea it will only help slow the spread of this invasive species...not stop it.

Here are some facts.

The spiney waterflea has been predicted to arrive in the great lakes via shipping vessels in 1984. Scientist predict that the species "jumped ship" in the european waters of the caspian sea or in the harbors of great britain.

1) The spiney waterfleas eggs can survive in a terrestrial atmosphere for 5-7 days.

2) The eggs can survive extreme PH and temperature ranges. Eggs that have been studied in the labs here at UMD can survive at at Acidic ph of 2.5-3.0 and at a basic level of 10.0-11.0. For those who aren't familiar with ph levels a acidic level of 3 is equal to the acidity of vinegar and a basic level of 10 is just shy of ammonia.

3) The spiney waterflea can spread via many vectors. Fishing equipment is just one of the ways. It can also migrate to other areas via current, wind, and wildlife.

4) A female spiney waterflea can produce as many as 10 offspring every two weeks. Waterflea are asexual organisms, so this poses a great threat. As temperatures plummet in autumn the not yet hatched eggs fall to the bottom of the lake and lie dormant until late may or early june of the next year. This is the start up offspring that contributes to the next generation of water flea.

4) Females will always produce eggs as long as the water temperature is agreeable and there is an abundance of food.

The major threat of the waterflea is competition for resources. The waterflea is extremely efficient when it comes to devouring zooplankton and will comsume as many as 20 zooplankton a day. This poses a threat as they are directly competing with our small gamefish populations for food. And due to their spiney tail it renders them inedible by the small gamefish species.

flea2.jpg

Currently we are not sure what will be the achilles' heel for this organism. We know that chlorine will effectively kill the organism and its eggs almost instantly. However, we cannot treat a large body of water with chlorine as it poses threats to the remainder of the aquatic populations. As with anything knowledge is key to stopping the spread of the waterflea. Eventually something will be found to stop it, but until then it is up to us outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen to slow the spread of the organism, hence the necessity for VNP to try and stop/slowdown the spread to interior lakes.

Just figured everyone here should have the knowledge to help prevent the spread of the waterflea. The best thing to do is to wash your boat with either a high pressure washer or some sort of acidic based boat cleaner if you have been in a body of water known to be infested with the spiney waterflea. This will help eliminate the dispersal to our thousands of lakes in Minnesota.

I could write all day about information of the waterflea, patterns of dispersal and why it has populated only select waters, but this is the most relevent and useful information for all of us sportsmen to use.

Take Care Guys and Good Luck Fishing!

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