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Invasion Species Endanger US Lakes And Streams
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Invasion Species Endanger US Lakes And Streams

.....and may pose potential threat to human lives.

Some species of plant, animal, and aquatic life have been beneficial when they have found their way into the United States but many have caused serious ecological damage to our lakes and streams. These invasion species harm eco systems and threaten human uses of our resources. They have created great economical impact on recreational sports on our waters and a huge economical impact on business making their livelihood on these waters. Here are a few that are causing serious problems these days.

Asian Carp

This invasion species considered a delicacy in Asian countries, is not so well received here. Originally imported to control algae and other aquatic weeds which they feed on have quickly found their way into our lakes and streams. When disturbed they began to jump out of the water. If you haven't seen this phenomenon visit Youtube and search for "jumping Asian Carp." Many injuries have been reported and officials feel it is only a mater of time before a death is caused due to these fish.

One lady was just idling her boat on the water when one around 10 pounds struck her in the face, breaking here nose and knocking here unconscious. She fell onto the throttle of the boat, increasing it's speed, and throwing her out of the boat. Fortunately some nearby boaters were able to rescue her. Millions have been spent erecting electronic barriers to try to keep them out of the Great Lakes, where they could cause serious damage to this 7 billion dollar sport and commercial fishing industry.

Northern Snakehead Fish.

This invasion species was first found in the wild in Maryland after being release from an aquarium into a nearby pond. The fish spawned and quickly made their way into nearby lakes and streams. Snakeheads are very aggressive and are a top level predator, meaning they have no natural enemies.

Dubbed "Frankenfish" by the news media they are very prolific and can live several days out of the water as they have the ability to breath naturally. This invasion species feed on smaller bream, crappie, and shad which are the main food source of bass, trout, walleye, and other preferred gamefish. There is no known means of natural control and officials ask anyone catching a snakehead to kill it and not return it to the water. Maryland has also established a bounty on these fish by offering a $200 gift card to Bass Pro Shops for any brought in dead. Now that may definitely get some results.

Burmese Pythons

This is a constrictor type snake causing some serious problems in the Florida Everglades. Some have been release by owners when they got to large to handle but many escaped when Hurricane Andrew destroyed a breeding facility in 1992. The invasion species can average 12 feet in length and can grow larger. The everglades are a perfect habitat for the snakes and cause problems when making it into nearby neighborhoods. This is a potential and very serious threat to young children not aware of the danger and many have had pets come up missing. Alligators in the everglades are a natural enemy but apparently not enough to slow their growth.

Giant Silvania

This one hits close to home for me. This invasion species is classified as a floating fern that can completely mat over the surface of a lake if left unchecked. The picture above was taken on an area lake I fish frequently; Lake Bistineau in northwest Louisiana. Giant Silvania was believed to be introduced into our waters through the aquarium trade. Individual plants are about the size of a dinner plate with roots hanging down in the water about a foot. One plant can actually double in size in less than one week. They now range from the Carolina's on around the coastal states and into California.

As you can see in the accompanying picture this invasion species will mat over large areas of the lake cutting out all sunlight to beneficial aquatic plants below, eventually killing them and depleting the oxygen supply in the water. Some beetles help control the plants alone with limited chemical use. The cold weather in other regions of the country are the only means of keeping it in check and from spreading.

Sport fishing and other water sports are major pastimes for may in the US. Many make their living through commercial use of out lakes and streams and some have been seriously hurt financially by the different invasion species that have infested our waters. Millions are being spent annually on the control of these species but in many areas the damage has already been done. There are many other unwanted species that could be mentioned here and I do have to wonder though what unwanted guest will hit our shores next.


Street Talk

That's progress! Legionnaire's Virus didn't exist until Air Conditioners' filters gave them the perfect incubator. Native Americans used to have an all-natural nation before the great Cracker invasions. The Moon was a pristine place before the Armstrong invasion which left tons of garbage strewn about their landing site. AIDs, too is a virus that bothered only one small, secluded patch of African jungle until it was spread by Jet to the world at large. Now, I can't completely condemn Progress--it is responsible for some 'good' extinctions: Polio, Tuberculosis, etc. But there's no denying that progress isn't free--for every advantage, there is a price. And that price (and this is the scary part) is never rung up until after we try something new, sometimes decades. DDT almost collapsed our continent's ecosphere before it was proved to be linked with over-fragility of eggshells among the bird population, effectively sterilizing every bird in a treated region. Hep C (which I have) is looking good to be one of the leading causes of death in future, because it is as dangerous as AIDs, but doesn't get the same PR. The late Michael Crichton gave us several doomsday scenarios--Dinosaurs as Invader Species (Jurassic Park); Outer Space Virus as unkillable death cloud (Andromeda Strain); and Nanobots released from the laboratory evolve to consume all organic matter (Prey). His cautionary tales made for terrifying books and films--but notice that society's response is two-fold: "Yes, That's scary!" and "But it's just a Movie". They overlook the fact that Crichton was a scientist before he became an author--all of his books are based on cutting-edge technologies that could very well become the threats he wrote of. The scariest part is that Truth is Stranger Than Fiction--when it comes, the techno-disaster we're all subconsciously waiting for will be even more outrageous and frightening than Crichton's imagination!

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Great info in your comment Christopher...appreciate that and your comments and visit

Reply
  about 8 years ago

I have read these before....

Reply
  about 8 years ago

I've changed the links on all my fishing articles Rob...

Reply
  about 8 years ago

These are scary facts that the public needs to be aware of, Kevin. I didn't know about the fish but I had heard about the pythons. They say there's a great many of them in the wild that were set loose by owners. There should be a law against owning them. Good article.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

It may likely come to that Georgia....I do think they have to get a permit to own a python in some area..

Reply
  about 8 years ago
C4rmen  

Goes to show how introducing a species (plant or animal) into an area that isnt its native land can have serious affects all round.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

It can lead to a real mess and thousands spent to try and control the stuff

Reply
  about 8 years ago

That story about the Asian carp is crazy! Talk about an unfortunate incident. You wouldn't initially think they could be a threat but obviously they very well can be.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Some of the videos of them jumping around are very fascinating but you can see the obvious danger...Thanks for visiting Shannon

Reply
  about 8 years ago
Joan S  

Friends from Florida told me about the Burmese pythons. Ugh! The other species you mention are new to me. Makes me glad to live in Connecticut. Haven't heard of any new snakes here. We do have weed infestations though and ticks. I have to look up the northern snakehead fish. Does it have a predator in Asia? Maybe we can export them to China and solve our budget problems.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Hi Joan...don't think it has a natural enemy anywhere other than gators which are not prevalent in the area they are in now...they are very protective of their nest and young and extremely evasive from larger predator fish also.. They are probably here to stay....their potential to mess up an eco system and food chain or great

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  about 8 years ago

If that is the water hyacinth that I think it is, good luck!!!!!!!!!! (in your picture that is!! I find it wrong to bring in foreign specie to fight problems at home. Nowhere I know have they been successful without something else suffering.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

That mess came form South America...got to Australia and other continents, Including Africa....If someone could figure out a commercial use for it could make a killing...

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Good article Kevin, sounds a little bit like the plot of a horror movie!

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  about 8 years ago

I wouldn't be surprised in one is made out of some of these species...several have been mado about the "killer bees"...lol

Reply
  about 8 years ago
Lemuel  

Looks like a risky invasion. The featured image tells me that one can easily get lost underwater.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

The silvania is definitely a mess...can't fish in it and clogs the motor intakes also..We had to cancel all our tournament one year as it got so bad...Really a mess trying to load a boat back in it also..

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Great article Kevin. The asian carp haven't invaded lake Erie yet but is a concern.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Was wondering if you had heard anything about them....One article I read said that one had been caught in Illinois’s Lake Calumet and beyond the electric barriers...Think that is getting pretty close to lake Michigan...Thanks for stopping by John.

Reply
  about 8 years ago
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