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Invasive Species: Great Lakes and Mississippi River Basins

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Title: Invasive Species: Great Lakes and Mississippi River Basins


1
Invasive Species Great Lakes and Mississippi
River Basins
  • Marc Tuchman
  • U.S. EPA
  • Great Lakes National Program Office

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Ballast Water
  • 30 percent of all introductions, several over
    past decade.
  • Mandatory ballast water management program in
    place.
  • Great Lakes as innovator for rest of the U.S.

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Sea Lamprey(Petromyzon marinus)
  • Sea lamprey feed on bodily fluids of Great Lakes
    fish.
  • Each lamprey kills 18 kg (40 lbs) of fish mass.
  • Management has reduced to 10 of pre-control
    populations
  • Total management cost over 10 million per year.
  • Adult is 30 50 cm (12 20 in.), aggressive
    parasite.

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Zebra Mussel (Dreissena polymorpha)
Adult is .75 3 cm (.25 1 in.), mature female
can produce one million eggs per year.
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Zebra Mussel Distribution in U.S. (2001)
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Impacts from Zebra Mussels
  • Environmental
  • Disrupts food chain.
  • Promotes blue-green algae
  • Toxic to some species.
  • Taste and odor problems.
  • Smother native mussel beds.
  • Social and Economic
  • Clogged water intakes (cumulative losses of 3.1
    to 5.0 billion dollars).
  • Possible increase in bioaccumulation of
    persistent toxic substances.

11
Purple Loosestrife(Lythrum salicaria)
  • Out-competes native wetland plants, eliminates
    waterfowl food and habitat.
  • Managed with Galerucella beetle.
  • Years are required for biological control to be
    effective.
  • Each plant is 2-3 meters tall and can produce
    2.7 million seeds each year.

12
Eurasian Ruffe(Gymnocephalus cernuus)
  • Grows rapidly, competes with native perch.
  • Spine and bones make poor quality prey.
  • No control method identified yet.
  • Slowly spreading in Northern Great Lakes.
  • Adult is 8-12 cm (3 - 5 in.), female can lay up
    to 90,000 eggs per year.

13
Round Goby (Neogobius melanostomus)
  • Aggressive, territorial, consumes native fish
    eggs and fry.
  • Consumes zebra mussels -- additional
    bioaccumulation of persistent toxic substances.
  • No control method identified yet.
  • Adult up to 18 cm (7 in.), discovered in the
    year 1990.

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Fishhook Water Flea(Cercopagis pengoi)
  • Discovered in the year 1998.
  • Long spine, hard to consume by small fish.
  • May compete with fish for small zooplankton (for
    example Daphnia).
  • Up to 1 cm (.4 in.), similar to spiny water
    flea (Bythotrephes cederstroemi)

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dnr.state.il.us/fish/ 2001/flyingsvcp2.jpg
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NOBOBs No Ballast on Board
  • Residue in ballast tanks may include fish,
    plants, plankton, and pathogens.
  • Investigating management technologies
  • Filtration
  • Chemical biocides
  • Shore side facilities
  • 75-95 of ships entering Great Lakes do not
    carry ballast, but may carry ballast residue.

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What can we do about it?
  • Barrier additions/improvements
  • Ballast water treatment technologies
  • Address NOBOB loophole
  • Develop early detection/rapid response plans
  • Work with fish culture industry
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