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Great Lakes Article:

Lake Michigan boaters cautioned about invasive flea
The Post-Crescent
Published July 11th, 2004

State biologists report a new exotic water flea that out-competes young fish for food is poised to invade Wisconsin’s inland waters.

Spiny and fish hook water fleas are among several invasive species in Lake Michigan that will move inland to colonize lakes if someone lets them hitch a ride, said Ron Martin of the state Department of Natural Resources.

Boat owners area advised to be especially careful to avoid accidentally transporting the invader.

Boats, trailers and equipment should be thoroughly washed with high-pressure or hot water prior to launching. All water should be drained from livewell, bilge, motors, etc.

Unused bait should be disposed of in the trash, not thrown into the water.

Spiny water fleas were discovered in the Gile Flowage in Iron County last fall, the first time the species has been documented in inland waters. The exotic flea, which grows to a length of one quarter to one half inch, entered the Great Lakes in ship ballast water from Europe in the 1980s. They consume small zooplankton that small fish need to survive.

No effective strategy exists to control the fleas once they’ve been introduced into a lake, Martin said.

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