Evan Kreager

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Maps show spread of aquatic invasive species over time

This screen shot shows the spread of zebra and quagga mussels in 2006. (Image: The Nature Conservancy)

This screen shot shows the spread of zebra and quagga mussels in 2006. (Image: The Nature Conservancy)

The Nature Conservancy has animated how six invasive species have spread across the Great Lakes over time. The group has created six maps that show population increase and spread since the appearance of each species in the Great Lakes basin and beyond. Sea lamprey, the first of the six invasive species to appear in the area, initially showed up in Lake Erie in 1921. The map shows the population of the fish expanding into the rest of the Great Lakes up until present day. Continue Reading →

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Invasive Species: Asian Carp

Asian carp are one of the five "usual suspects" in terms of aquatic invasive species in the Great Lakes basin, according to The Nature Conservancy.

Asian carp are one of the five “usual suspects” in terms of aquatic invasive species in the Great Lakes basin, according to The Nature Conservancy. (Image: The Nature Conservancy)

By Evan KreagerGreat Lakes EchoAsian carp may be one of the better known of the many aquatic invasive species attempting to make their way into the Great Lakes basin. They are one of the five “usual suspects” recognized by The Nature Conservancy in a public awareness campaign. Big head and silver are the most common types of carp, having been spotted in 18 different states, according to The Nature Conservancy. Big head carp can grow up to 60 inches and weigh over 100 pounds. Continue Reading →

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Photo Friday: Ice forms Lake Michigan stringers

(Image: NASA)

 

By Evan KreagerGreat Lakes Echo Ice stringers, the lines of ice that can be seen traveling out across these Lake Michigan waters, are formed when strong winds blow ice off a point of land and into a long, connected string. This photograph produced by astronauts on the International Space Station shows Washington Island off the point of Wisconsin’s Door Peninsula and two smaller adjacent islands. They are joined by ice. When this photo was taken on Feb. 22, strong southwesterly winds blew against their ice-covered shores, according to NASA’s Earth Observatory. Continue Reading →

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Landscope: Increasing presence of well pads in Michigan

This story is part of Great Lakes Echo's 'Landscope' series.

By Evan KreagerGreat Lakes Echo 

Take a look at this map. Cover the title, key and footer. It looks as if someone had a blank map of Michigan and began splattering paint across it. It’s like a work of art. But when the title of the map is revealed, it becomes obvious that all those pretty colors are actually different types of wells strewn across Michigan’s mitten. Continue Reading →

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Invasive Species: Round Goby

Round gobies, like the one pictured above, have been named one of the five "usual suspects" doing damage in the Great Lakes basin by The Nature Conservancy.

By Evan KreagerGreat Lakes Echo
Round gobies, like the one pictured above, have been named one of the five “usual suspects” doing damage in the Great Lakes basin by The Nature Conservancy. (Image: The Nature Conservancy)

The Nature Conservancy has named the round goby one of the five “usual suspects” invading the Great Lakes basin. Round gobies are native to the Black and Caspian seas, but have found their way into the Mississippi River as well as Lake Michigan. These fish have a heightened ability to sense water movement, allowing them to feed in the dark. Round gobies feed on native fish and their eggs, and have a “blood vendetta” against zebra mussels, according The Nature Conservancy. Continue Reading →

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Invasive Species: Eurasian Ruffe

The Eurasian Ruffe is one of the five aquatic invasive species that The Nature Conservancy has deemed the "usual suspects" in the Great Lakes basin. (Image: The Nature Conservancy)

By Evan KreagerGreat Lakes Echo

The Nature Conservancy has named Eurasian Ruffe, a fish native to northern Europe and Asia, as one of the five “usual suspects” in the Great Lakes basin. This fish has invaded northern Lake Michigan and feeds on native fish eggs. It has sharp spines on its fins making it difficult for predators to catch and eat, giving it the nickname, “Dagger Fin.”

Eurasian Ruffe are generally just under a half a foot in length and have an olive or golden-brown color. Continue Reading →

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Invasive Species: Zebra Mussels

Zebra mussels, or "The Silent Strangler," have been named one of the five "usual suspects" doing damage in the Great Lakes basin. They get their name from the zebra-like stripes on their tiny shells, as seen above. (Image: The Nature Conservancy)

By Evan KreagerGreat Lakes Echo
Zebra mussels, or “The Silent Strangler,” have been named one of the five “usual suspects” doing damage in the Great Lakes basin. They get their name from the zebra-like stripes on their tiny shells, as seen above. (Image: The Nature Conservancy)

Zebra mussels are one of five aquatic invasive species that The Nature Conservancy has deemed “‘the usual suspects’ doing the most damage in the Great Lakes basin and beyond.”

Originally from Eastern Europe and western Russia, zebra mussels are the only freshwater mussels that can attach directly to other objects. They most likely have come over attached to the bottoms of ships. Once here, the mussels grow in population rapidly. Continue Reading →

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Great Lakes ice cover surpasses 88 percent

(Image: NASA)

Ice cover on the Great Lakes reached 88 percent this month for the first time in a decade, according to NASA’s Earth Observatory. Since 1973, average ice cover of the lakes has been just more than 50 percent. It has only exceeded 80 percent five times in the past 40 years. This image of the Great Lakes was taken by NASA’s Aqua satellite on February 19, 2014. NASA reported that NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory put ice cover at just over 80 percent. Continue Reading →

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Invasive Species: Sea Lamprey

The sea lamprey, an eel-like creature that feeds on host-fish, has been named by The Nature Conservancy as one of the five "usual suspects" doing damage in the Great Lakes basin. (Image: The Nature Conservancy)

By Evan KreagerGreat Lakes Echo

The Nature Conservancy has named sea lampreys one of the five “usual suspects” invading the Great Lakes basin. These eel-looking parasites find a host and suck the life out of it. During the length of one life cycle, a sea lamprey can kill up to 40 pounds worth of fish and can grow up to 3 feet long. Sea lampreys are native to the Atlantic Ocean, Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. Continue Reading →

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