Spiny Water Flea

The Spiny water flea has become a household topic as media coverage on the invasive species' potential threat to Lake Champlain grows. Spiny water fleas are not fleas at all, but small crustaceans that grow to be about 3/8 of an inch in size. These troublesome zooplankton invaded the Great Lakes in the 1980s and recently were discovered in Great Sacandaga Lake in New York. Senator Leahy secured $100,000 to conduct a feasibility study to determine if the species can be prevented from passing from Great Sacandaga Lake through the Glens Falls Feeder Canal which empties into the Champlain Canal in the Lake Champlain Basin (click here to see press release). Spiny water flea spread easily from bait buckets, bilge water, fishing line, and fishing gear.

The LCBP Long Term Biological Monitoring Program has expanded its monitoring this summer and has sampled for them in the Glens Falls Feeder Canal and the Champlain Canal four times--none has found in any of the samples. Spiny water fleas have not yet been found in Lake Champlain. Help prevent the spread of spiny water fleas and other aquatic invasive species by checking, cleaning, and drying all equipment when you move from one body of water to another. For more information about the spiny water flea see http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1102661715256&s=3712&e=001M27d7HYM602P6m0H4ohYfxm-i1I8ie6Shmzo2ExsOnJB5CPXBNoGDJrg3IMedKyUl605UyBzD4XcKvC8MgxRhL2CCvyF-bYJanV5w1tgUzADbmRU2B5cdGFuz1XGSiiphmAuH9slunk=, visit the LCBP Resource Room (top floor of ECHO at the Leahy Center for Lake Champlain), or talk with one of our friendly Lake Stewards at a fishing access near you. For more information on aquatic invasive species and threats contact Meg Modley at mmodley@lcbp.org.

IMAGE: Spiny waterflea on fishing gear
PHOTO CREDIT: Jeff Gunderson, Minnesota Sea Grant

This article taken from the August 2009 issue of the Lake Champlain Basin Program newsletter, titled CASIN' THE BASIN E-NEWS. http://www.lcbp.org/


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