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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Uh-oh, Madison's got fleas!

Sample of spiny water flea, an invasive newly discovered in Lake Mendota, Madison last week. Photo: Jeff Miller, University of Wisconsin

Last week, we posted an item about a new invasive crayfish that's been found a little too close to home. This week comes the news of another aquatic invasive found right in Madisonians' backyard, Lake Mendota.

Undergraduates at the University of Wisconsin-Madison out on the lake for a day of hands' on limnological research, got more than they bargained for when they pulled up a plankton net full of the unidentified little creatures. Their professor, Jake Vander Zanden, an expert in aquatic invasive species, was shocked to find spiny water fleas in Lake Mendota- they were previously known to exist in only two other large northern reservoirs in Wisconsin.

So what does this mean for the Madison lakes? It's too soon to tell how it will effect the ecology and water quality of the Madison lakes, but in the ominous words of Vander Zanden, "we have little reason to think the changes will be positive."

For the full story, see the news release from UW-Madison.

posted by the River Rat

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