Tenth day of Christmas: Alewives croaking

Editor’s Note: It’s an Echo tradition to revisit one of our favorite holiday stories: Tim Campbell’s The Twelve Days of Aquatic Invasive Species Christmas. Campbell rewrote the lyrics of the holiday tune for the Wisconsin Sea Grant in 2011.  We’re publishing a new verse on each of the actual twelve days of Christmas.  
On the tenth day of Christmas, a freighter sent to me…
Ten alewives croaking — Alewives are one of the few invasive species that foul Great Lakes beaches throughout the summer. Until the introduction of Pacific salmon, alewives died off in such great numbers that tractors were required to remove them from beaches. Salmon now do a great job controlling alewife numbers, but there are still alewife die-offs due to spawning-related stresses.

Special report: The alewife question

Alewives are a Great Lakes invasive fish that baffle native fish reproduction but give imported Pacific salmon — the target of a profitable fishery — something to eat. What’s a Great Lakes fishery manager to do? Sept. 2, 2009
Alewives: Should Great Lakes managers kill ‘em or keep ‘em? Fishery managers have made little progress in restoring lake trout, the Great Lakes’ dominant predator until the species collapsed in the 1940s and 1950s.

Great Lakes fish in the balance; biologists have little control

By Jeff Gillies, jeffgillies@gmail.com
Great Lakes Echo
Sept. 4, 2009
Editors note: This is the final story in a three-part series about the challenges of managing non-native fish in the Great Lakes. Managing invasive alewives in the Great Lakes is like walking a tightrope. Too many stymie native lake trout reproduction. Too few cripple the profitable salmon fishery.