Summer 2014: West Michigan Fish Notes
Move Over Ballast Water: Organisms in Trade May be the Next Challenge for Invasive Species Prevention
Decades ago, four species of Asian carp were imported into the U.S. with no screening process required to determine if they might be harmful to native species. While the Lacey Act does provide a means for listing certain species as "injurious" and prohibits their importation and interstate shipping, the process of obtaining injurious species designation is often too slow to prevent the spread of damaging invaders. The Lacey Act also does not require any screening process for organisms before they are imported. Instead, a species can only be labeled injurious after it is proven to be harmful in U.S. environments. New bills before Congress could establish such a screening process — and a more proactive approach to preventing future invaders from reaching our shores.
Learn more about the Invasive Fish and Wildlife Prevention Act
Lake Huron Charter Trips Remained Steady in 2013 as Walleye Catch Rates Soared
Michigan charter boat operators logged 1,536 trips on Lake Huron waters in 2013, generating 54,499 employment hours and $1.82 million in coastal communities. Charter effort on Lake Huron has shown slight growth in recent years, despite the fantastic walleye fishing and diverse salmon and trout catches.
Invaders on the Move in West Michigan
Some aquatic invaders are good at flying under the radar. You can help to track their spread if you know where to look and how to report what you find. Four species to watch for in West Michigan are the round goby, quagga mussel, Chinese mystery snail, and white perch. Gobies and quagga mussels have been in Lake Michigan for some time but are now moving inland. Mystery snails have probably been in many local waters for decades but have gone unreported. White perch (top fish pictured above) have also gone unreported in some waters. They are easily confused with native white bass (bottom fish), but white bass have prominent black stripes. Review the additional information on identification and known range referenced in links below, and If you find these invaders in new areas, email Dan O'Keefe at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Video from USGS Shows How Bottom Trawls Sample Lake Michigan Forage Fish!
The abundance of alewife and other forage fish is always a hot topic among Great Lakes anglers. Bottom trawls are one method used by USGS to sample forage fish.
Trolling Spring Lake Video
Ever wonder if there are any fish down there when they aren't biting? Underwater video shows a surprising number of follows, short strikes, and hits that don't result in solid hookups when trolling.