New invasive species of shrimp found near Muskegon
By Joe Boomgaard
Published January 9, 2007
Yet another invasive species has been found in the Great Lakes.
A blood-red shrimp, Hemimysis anomala, native to the Caspian Sea, turned up recently in the Muskegon River channel, according to Chuck Pistis of Sea Grant Michigan, who gave a presentation on the shrimp at the Saturday fisheries workshop.
The half-inch-long species is one of several native to the Caspian Sea that have invaded the Great Lakes. Others species from the region now found in the Great Lakes watershed include zebra mussels, round gobies and ruffe.
Pistis said scientists have predicted the shrimp — along with 20 other species — would eventually wind up in the lakes after it showed up in Europe.
“It was predicted to end up in North America, and it ended up here,” Pistis said.
The shrimp can also change its color depending on what it eats.
“The literature says it’s a critter that lives in relatively shallow water in rocky bottoms,” Pistis said. “It’s very cryptic in that it hides real well during the day and then swarms to the surface … at twilight or at nighttime.”
The shrimp is believed to feed on many of the same food sources as the alewife population, which might pose problems for the critical food supply for the salmon and trout sport fishery, but it might also be a food source for yellow perch, according to Pistis.
“We don’t know if it will be good fish food,” Pistis said. “It’s all speculation at this point.”
The organism is also known to consume blue-green algae.
Pistis said whenever he gives a presentation on an invasive species, he poses the question, “What’s next?” By the time he gives another presentation, there’s usually some new invader to discuss.
“It’s an issue that doesn’t seem to want to go away,” Pistis said of exotic species. “I don’t know when we’re going to get a handle on it.”