Yesterday, we announced the winners of the first two Great Lakes SmackDown! lake fights. Today, we reveal the results of the next two matches.
Match 3: ROUND GOBY VS. SEA LAMPREY
The Round “Roundy Goboa” Goby, a bully bottom feeder, has a habit of stealing bait from anglers, eating plankton and aggressively defending its young.
And the one to prevail is…
- THE GREEN LAMP-REY!
Eighty-one percent of you who completed brackets voted for this eel-like fish, and 91 percent of voters agreed – making this match a true knock-out.
But scientifically, the answer isn’t as clear.
“It’s too early to say all the effects of the gobies,” said Chuck Madenjian, a research fishery biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey Great Lakes Science Center.
The goby entered the lakes decades after the sea lamprey, giving scientists less time to study its long-term effects. The benthic dweller also entered the lakes when there were more predators.
We know more about what sea lampreys have done compared to the gobies, Madenjian said. Lampreys had a big effect on fish like lake trout, whitefish and the burbot.
For these scientific reasons and your votes, Echo agrees with readers: Roundy Goboa’s fighting journey ends here.
Match 4: ALEWIFE VS. WHITE PERCH
The alewife eats the young of other fish while the white perch eats other fish eggs, including its own.
The winner is…(drum roll please)
VLAD THE IMPALE-WIFE!
Those of you who filled out brackets seemed confident in your choices – about 81 percent voted for the alewife. But in the poll, confidence wavered with about 54 percent agreeing with the bracketeers.
The science backs up your SmackDown! sentiments.
“I don’t think the white perch effects have been as serious, I guess, as the alewives. Although it’s still believed to have an effect on fishes like white bass,” Madenjian said.
As its fighting name implies, the white perch feeds on other fish eggs reducing its numbers.
“The white bass is still at a reduced level of abundance then it was before the white perch got into Lake Erie,” Madenjian said.
But the alewife has affected populations of yellow perch, deepwater sculpin, the emerald shiner and Atlantic salmon by eating young fish and causing a vitamin deficiency.
“So if you step back and look at it I would call those pretty significant effects,” Madenjian said.
Only about one-third of bracketeers remain in the running for the win. Ouch.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t still play the game. Second round match ups will be announced this Thursday and Friday featuring:
Quagga Mussel vs. Eurasian Watermilfoil
Sea Lamprey vs. Alewife