Invasive shrimp meets its match in Great Lakes fish

By on December 2, 2011

Typically, an invasive species is a threat to native populations partially because it has no natural predators. The bloody red shrimp (Hemimysis anomala), which has invaded the Great Lakes from the Black Sea, is an exception. Researchers at Queens University in Ontario found evidence that round goby, yellow perch, and alewife may be consistently feeding on bloody red shrimp. This is a relief for Great Lakes activist and research groups.“Forecasting how an invader will affect the growth and production of a specific native fish species is very relevant to conservation groups and government agencies hoping to conserve those fish,” says Biology graduate student Mike Yuille in a press release.

The Queens University study followed the eating habits of these fish populations over several seasons, analyzing fish stomach contents and nitrogen and carbon signatures. Their study will be published in the Journal of Great Lakes Research.

The bloody red shrimp was discovered in Lake Michigan in 2006 and has since spread to the other four Great Lakes.


Image credit: NOAA GLERL

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