Lake Michigan is a haven for many fresh water fish. It is a fragile ecosystem changed by many factors, one being invasive species. The United State Geological Survey (USGS) monitors the Great Lakes..
In an article written in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, it states that an invasive species, the Zebra mussel caused the death of over 900 loons on Lake Michigan last fall. This mussel creates an ideal environment beneficial to the growth of a bacterium that produces botulism toxins.
Zebra mussels originated in the region of the Balkans and Poland finding its way into the Great Lakes via ship ballasts. These mussels are eaten by another invasive species the Round Goby fish, which is then eaten by the diving birds.
Invasive species cause an imbalance in the ecosystem of the native species because the prey on the same food sources. They also bring bacteria that are hostile to native populations of fish and fowl.
This is an important topic for Milwaukeeans. In an interview with U.S. Representative Tom Petri on Wisconsin Public Television he presented the Bipartisan Great Lakes Funding Plan. It takes in the concerns of the ecology of all of the Great Lakes. It covers pollution and the problems of invasive species.
Invasive species in Lake Michigan can be as small as a bacteria, but no matter how small or large the invader it does have an impact on Lake Michigan and eventually Milwaukeeans.