Great Lakes SmackDown!

By Alice Rossignol and Rachael Gleason

Welcome to the Great Lakes SmackDown!

Which invasive species is the most ecologically destructive to the Great Lakes? We pitted eight of the region’s most formidable aquatic invasive species against each other in “lake fights” in true March Madness form.

We asked biologists, resource managers, invasive species experts and Echo readers to weigh in on each battle. Follow the links below to see how the contenders fared in three rounds of lake fights. Check out each battle’s “discussion” to see our reasoning behind each winner.

Updates:

  • Echo launched the Great Lakes SmackDown’s sequel, Terrestrial Terror, in March 2011. See which land brawler took the title of the region’s most destructive terrestrial invader.
  • The SmackDown! is a national finalist and first-place regional winner in the Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Awards for online opinion and commentary.

Let’s Fight!

Week 1 Oct. 4th-8th: Introduction

Week 2 Oct. 11th-15th : Round 1 Matches

Zebra Mussel vs. Quagga Mussel

Eurasian Watermilfoil vs. Curly-Leaf Pondweed

Round Goby vs. Sea Lamprey

Alewife vs. White Perch

Week 3 Oct. 18th-22nd: Round 1 Winners/Round 2 Matches

Round 1 Winners and Discussion Match 1 & 2

Round 1 Winners and Discussion Match 3 & 4

Quagga Mussel vs. Eurasian Watermilfoil

Sea Lamprey vs. Alewife

Week 4 Oct. 25th-29th: Round 2 Winners/Final SmackDown!

Round 2 Winners and Discussion, Sea Lamprey vs. Alewife

Round 2 Winners and Discussion, Quagga Mussel vs. Eurasian Watermilfoil

Final SmackDown! Quagga Mussel vs. Sea Lamprey

Week 5: Nov. 1st

Final SmackDown! Winner/Recap