The presence of the Spiny Water Flea Lake has been recently confirmed in Lake Vermilion from Minnesota by the Department of Natural Resources DNR.
The Spiny Water Flea is an invasive species of crustation. They are small in size, only a few millimeters long, but what they lack in size they definitely compensate in numbers, because they multiply at an extremely accelerated rate and build massive population.
The main reason why Spiny Water Flea contamination is dangerous is not because it pose some sort of health risk, but rather because it greatly affects the local fishing on the contaminated lake. This happens because both small fish and the pesky spiny water flea prey on the same small crustaceans that constitute the zooplankton.
And the spiny water flea fights hard in this battle for survival, precisely because it is present in such great numbers. And it seems to always lead to the massive multiplication of water fleas and a lesser fish presence, which is very bag news for all fishermen out there.
Unfortunately, there is no known method of getting rid of the spiny water flea. The reason why it has received this particular name is because of its extremely effective defense mechanisms that consist of three or four long spiny legs and a very long and sharp tail. These help them escape predators, because they cannot swallow the pesky critters because of their spines and they caught them right back out.
“Microscopic spiny waterflea eggs are hardy and capable of overwintering in lakes, and their small size makes them an easy candidate for overland transfer in water or mud.” explained the DNR.
The spiny water flea comes from European and Asian waters and it actually traveled all the way to the Great Lakes aboard some boat, in the water that remained inside it. This is why it is extremely important that all boats are thoroughly cleaned and dried after each outing, so as to prevent offering the spiny water flea a free ride to undiscovered lands.
The small spiny crustaceans are actually very resilient and they manage to thrive even in the harshest conditions. Neither heat nor cold can make them turn away. When they populate a lake or some other water basin, they because a real pest for fishermen because they leave them with less fish to catch, on one hand and also clog their fishing lines, on the other hand.
They will gather by the hundreds and they will form clusters on fishing lines, thus leaving the fishermen in a very spiny situation. Unfortunately for Lake Vermilion fishermen, the future does not look good, because they are now on the spiny water flea list which is not a good omen among specialists.
Image Source: northeastans.org