Evan Kreager

Recent Stories

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)

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. Also included in the maps are Asian carp, zebra and quagga mussels, round goby, Eurasian Ruffe and black carp. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Photo Friday: Cold produces sundog above Lake Superior

This image shows what is called a "sundog," a naturally occurring reflection of light on the edge of a halo around that sun that is produced by fog in cold temperatures above water. (Image: Shawn Malone, Earth Science Picture of the Day)

By Evan KreagerGreat Lakes Echo This image taken over Lake Superior’s southern shore shows a reflection of light known as a “sundog” on the outer edges of a halo surrounding the sun. Fog is created when cold air moves over water that is much warmer. Because of the cold, this fog often contains tiny ice crystals. The crystals can act as prisms, creating a 22-degree circle of light around the sun known as a “22-degree halo,” according to Earth Science Picture of the Day, which published this image. The picture was taken by Shawn Malone on Jan. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , ,

Perfect conditions produce “snow rollers” in Ohio, New York

Like tumbleweeds, wind forms and blows these snowballs so that they appear to take on a life of their own. (Image: Bill Schultz, Earth Science Picture of the Day)

By Evan KreagerGreat Lakes Echo Everyone has seen images of tumbleweed blowing in the wind. This image shows what it looks like when the wind rolls its own snowballs. These snowballs were created by the wind in a field in Ohio, according to Earth Science Picture of the Day, a service provided by NASA’s Earth Science Division that documents naturally occurring phenomenon that highlight the different processes of the world. If the wind blows strong enough, and snow has just the right packing consistency, then the wind can blow snowballs like these ones, known as “snow rollers.” If the wind changes path, so can the snowballs, leaving tracks in the snow behind. This phenomenon is not unique to Newcomerstown, Ohio, where this photo was taken in late January by Bill Schultz. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , ,

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.

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. Silver carp are a bit smaller, with a length of about 40 inches and a weight of 60 pounds. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , ,

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 →

Filed under: , , , ,

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 →

Filed under: , , , , , ,

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

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. These gobies can grow up to 10 inches in length and somewhat resemble an overgrown tadpole with black, gray or brown skin. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , ,

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 →

Filed under: , , , , ,

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)

 

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. Zebra mussels can produce 100,000 to 500,000 eggs per year, according to The Nature Conservancy. Nicknamed “the Silent Strangler,” these pests smother native freshwater mussels and kill plankton that some fish need to survive. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , ,