Are alewives native to the Great Lakes?

Are alewives native to the Great Lakes?

Are alewives native to the Great Lakes?

The alewife, a pelagic planktivore native to the Atlantic Ocean, entered the Great Lakes through canals. First seen in Lake Ontario in 1873, and bypassing Niagara Falls through the Welland Canal, the species became widespread in the basin by 1960.

Are alewives exotic or native to Lake Michigan?

But alewives are an invasive species that harm lake trout, a native fish that biologists have been trying and failing to re-establish for decades. Alewives keep lake trout down in two ways, said Mark Ebener, fish assessment biologist with the Chippewa Ottawa Resources Authority.

Where are alewives native?

Atlantic Ocean Alewives are native to the Atlantic Ocean and the lakes and streams that drain to it from Newfoundland to North Carolina. They are "anadromous", which means that they live most of their lives in the sea but migrate into freshwater rivers and streams to breed.

Are there alewives in Lake Michigan?

Over the past few decades, invasive species like zebra and quagga mussels have been eating up much of the base of Lake Michigan's food web, affecting organisms throughout the lake, including alewife, a staple meal for salmon and trout.

Why are they called alewives?

Description. Alewife reach a maximum length of about 40 cm (16 in), but have an average length of about 25 cm (10 in). The front of the body is deep and larger than other fish found in the same waters, and its common name is said to come from comparison with a corpulent female tavernkeeper ("ale-wife").

What happened to the alewives in Lake Michigan?

Most scientists believe the drop has been due to a combination of factors, including invasive zebra and quagga mussels which remove plankton from the lake and reduce the amount of food available for other organisms, as well as predation on forage fish by salmon and trout.

Why do alewives die in Lake Michigan?

"There are two main causes for yearly alewife die-offs. One is warmer water; the other is biological stress. Alewives are an invasive species to Lake Michigan, getting into the Great Lakes via the Welland Canal. Since they are a salt water fish, they have issues regulating their bodies to a fresh water environment.

Are there sharks in Lake Michigan?

Scientifically, NO sharks have been documented in Lake Michigan.

Do alewives jump?

Alewives and blueback herring spawn in freshwater but spend most of their life at sea. They don't jump like salmon, but they can swim very fast in short bursts to pass through rapids. They migrate from the ocean back to their home rivers in spring, where they were hatched to spawn.

Why do alewives die?

"There are two main causes for yearly alewife die-offs. One is warmer water; the other is biological stress. Alewives are an invasive species to Lake Michigan, getting into the Great Lakes via the Welland Canal. Since they are a salt water fish, they have issues regulating their bodies to a fresh water environment.

Where was the Alewife found in Lake Michigan?

The species was first reported from Lake Erie in 1931, Lake Huron in 1933, Lake Michigan in 1949, and Lake Superior in 1954. The alewife was intentionally stocked in inland waters. The population in the New River, West Virginia, resulted from stockings in Claytor Lake, New River, Virginia (Jenkins and Burkhead 1994).

Why are there so many Alewife in the Great Lakes?

Alewife grew in number unchecked because of the lack of a top predator in the lakes ( lake trout were essentially wiped out around the same time by overfishing and the invasion of the sea lamprey ). For a time, alewife, which often exhibit seasonal die-offs, washed up in windrows on the shorelines of the Great Lakes.

What kind of fish does an alewife eat?

The first is simple: Alewives eat baby lake trout. Lake trout are slow growers and make fine fish food for alewives for a month or two after they hatch, said Charles Madenjian, a fishery biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey’s Great Lakes Science Center.

When did the alewife fish reach its peak?

They reached their peak abundance from the 1950s through the 1980s. Alewife grew in number unchecked because of the lack of a top predator in the lakes ( lake trout were essentially wiped out around the same time by overfishing and the invasion of the sea lamprey ).


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