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Species invasion of Great Lakes compromising ecosystem

A scientist at Notre Dame says one tiny fish can cause pretty big problems in the Great Lakes. Many anglers and businesses faced problems recently with the invasion of zebra mussels. Now, some ships are bringing in "boatloads" of trouble to Lake Michigan. Notre Dame Science Professor, Dr. David Lodge, says, "It's such a nuisance that people have stopped fishing in southern Lake Michigan because this [goby fish] is the only thing that's caught."

Dr. Lodge released a national study about species like zebra mussels and the goby fish that could present an economic and environmental threat to the Great Lakes. "I've heard of a few gobies being caught over on the pier, zebra mussels. They just hurt the food supply," explains Nate Schunan of Tackle Haven, St. Joseph.

Tampering with nature
A Notre Dame scientist says boats from all over the world are bringing fish people are not used to seeing here in the Great Lakes. It is messing up the ecosystem and it is a nuisance to the anglers who fish for a living. "It's competing with native organisms like native yellow perch and other organisms in the Great Lakes," says Dr. Lodge.

"The goby is the latest thing that has gotten into the lake," says Captain Ken Neidlinger. "When we're perch fishing we'll catch the small fish. Most of the guys will discard them because they feel it's a predator to the fish so they'll feed them to the seagulls," says Capt. Neidlinger.

"In most cases we don't know how to kill them without killing everything else," says Dr. Lodge. So he is trying to cut costs for our government by finding a way to identify the source of the so-called nuisance species before it becomes a bigger problem. Dr. Lodge's new study is in the latest edition of the Journal of Science. 

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