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Invasive Species New Zealand Mud Snail

Invasive Species

INVASIVE SPECIES AND THEIR IMPACT UPON AQUATIC HABITATS

Invasive Species

Invasive Species the New Zealand Mud Snail

There are countless threats to our aquatic ecosystems that have long lasting impacts upon our Great Lakes Ecosystems. Water pollution/sedimentation, habitat loss/degradation, connectivity, are a few examples and the list goes on and on. One such threat that usually doesn’t get immediate attention until a problem arises is the impact of Invasive Species. These invaders are often responsible for lost species diversity and changing food web dynamics within their new habitats.

If left unchecked, the consequences are often disastrous as ecosystem functionality is either lost or greatly impaired. Invasive Species introductions into our aquatic habitats typically result in dire consequences that can’t be fully understood. Most Invasive Species are undetectable at low population densities and by the time they are discovered problems are already starting to fester. This demonstrates the importance of early detection and the need for forward thinking approaches to minimize future introductions.

Human Travel

In today’s world, people have the ability to travel and visit just about every corner of the globe.  Sometimes a foreign hitchhiker can find its way into new habitats often causing unfavorable consequences. Albeit most of these introductions have been unintentional. However, there are some serious repercussions associated with their establishment. These aquatic invaders are usually left unchecked by the lack of natural control mechanisms. Unfortunately, the end result is usually the proliferation of foreign invaders and the ensuing negative impacts upon native flora and fauna.

Predicting the outcomes of an Invasive Species introduction is often difficult.  In most cases there are cascading effects that ripple through the ecosystem favoring the introduced organism. The absence of natural population controls on Invasive Species usually results in a competitive advantage for competition and survival.  As invasive populations grow, ecosystem sustainability is often lost or greatly impaired leading to reduced Native Species diversity.  In the Great Lakes, this could ultimately result in reduced numbers of highly desirable game species.

Great Lakes

The Great Lakes region has a growing number of Invasive Species concerns. Some notable examples are the Sea Lamprey, Alewife, Spiny Water Flea, Zebra Mussels, Quaga Mussels, and the New Zealand Mud Snail. All of these examples have consequences that go well beyond the physical parameters of water quality. Often these invaders have substantial impacts upon the trophic structure of our aquatic communities.

The Sea Lamprey almost wiped out the Lake Trout Populations thru uncontrolled predation. Alewife and Spiny Water Fleas had direct and indirect impacts upon Native Zooplankton populations and Juvenile Fish Survival. Zebra and Quaga mussels have changed the trophic cascades in the Great Lakes from the bottom up. This has lead to increasing water clarity, increased light penetration, deep water warming, increased Algal blooms, and reduced Salmonid populations. All of these consequences have direct effects upon the Economical value of our Great Lakes Recreational Sport Fishery.

New Zealand Mud Snail

The newest Invasive Species that is spreading throughout the Great Lakes Region is the New Zealand Mud Snail. The effects of this new invader are not yet fully understood. Researchers believe this invader will have adverse effects upon native snail species diversity by outcompeting native snails for space and food resources. Concerns have also been raised regarding how the New Zealand Mud Snail may effect the primary production elements of stream ecosystems which will more than likely have dire consequences for macro-invertebrate communities and ultimately stream fish populations. In a trout stream this could be detrimental to trout populations as food resources become greatly reduced by their increasing presence.

As we enter a new fishing season I encourage everyone to take extra precautions in sanitizing your fishing equipment.  We all need to be more diligent as we move between watersheds to help prevent further spread. For further information regarding the New Zealand Mud Snail and other invasive species, please check out the upcoming webinars from the newly formed Great Lakes New Zealand Mud Snail Collaborative. Join the fight, stop the spread, and get informed.


Tight Lines,

Ed

Mangled Fly Stickers

Nervous Net Job

Not too often a trout makes me nervous when I’m in charge of the net, but a new PR on a Michigan Brook Trout.

drier dry flies

Drier Dry Flies

Did a video on the Hawkins YouTube channel about a trick I learned a few years ago from angler Larry Webb.  Had to share this simple trick to keep your dry flies floating longer.  Thank you Larry for the helpful tip, has really saved my spinner patterns from an early grave.  Check out the video if you enjoy throwing around the dry fly this time of year.

Patagonia Fly Fish – Pic of the Day

I’m honored to have Patagonia Flyfishing post an image on their Instagram account  , thank you Larry and Paul for letting me take a minute and play as we floated a Michigan trout stream this fall.

Be on your way now, see you again! Photo @mangledfly @patagonia @patagoniaprovisions

A photo posted by Patagonia Fly Fish (@patagonia_flyfish) on

Great Speckled Olive caught in a Web

Siphloplecton basale Spinner other wise known for me as the Great Speckled Olive caught in a spiders web.  When you see this guy you know Sulhur’s are on the menu in a day or two.  Hatches are moving forward and temps are really improving.  Couple prime open dates in the first part of June.  June 6,7,9  shoot me an email or a text message if your interested.

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Pic of the Day – San Juan Worm

Had to get down and dirty on the Upper Manistee, with a slower than normal couple days of trout fishing.  Had to bust out all the tricks.  Have honestly not thrown the worm, the san juan worm, since my Colorado days some 15 years ago.  Used to fish the worm on the Upper Colorado River on my days off.

Bobber Down!

 Getting down and dirty with a worm imitation on the upper manistee.

Picture of the Day – Fall Brown Trout

Kean O. with a great October brown trout from the Upper Manistee.

Kean O. with a great fall brown trout in epic colors.  Great day on the river yesterday, seeing the old trout water one more time before old man winter locks her in.  Streamer fishing was pretty consistent, while not too many would actually put the streamer in there mouth, plenty came out and played with it.  Great job Kean getting the couple when you had the chance.

Picture of the Day- Summer Foam

Chuck Hawkins with a nice brown trout caught on a green hopper pattern.  Have a feeling with the number of hoppers that I’m finding it’s going to get fun here for the day time runners.  Sight casting to rising trout using big piece of foam.

Terrestrial Time – Scott G2 886

Terrestrial fishing starts right after the Hex Hatch, July, August, and September are prime months for hoppers, beetles, crickets, and ants.  One of my favorite rods for big Terristrial patterns is the Scott G2 886
With the end of the Hex Hatch starts the beginning of  Hopper Time.  No more up-wing parachutes or layout spinners.  Yes we will still have BWO’s, Trico’s and the occasional Iyso.  But July, August and September trout fishing for me, during the day light hours is match the Terrestrial.  Time to run the foam and rubber legs.

Matching the Terrestrial, just like Matching the Hatch, can change day to day.  For whatever reason trout can change focus from hoppers, to ants, to damsels, to crickets.  I really thinks it more of matching size and color.  Again just like matching the mayfly hatch, you need to figure out what fish want on a particular day.

With more free time in July than we have in June, have some goals for fly tying and photography work.  Hope to share more patterns and fish technique.  Again these are goals for the next couple months, so check back and we will see what I’ve come up with.

But in the mean time also wanted to share that ran a new rod just recently that is a new favorite for Terrestrial fishing the Scott G2 886.  With rods I truly believe that you need to cast or feel one before you buy.  But if your in your local fly shop pick this rod up, it has true hidden power and can turn over big foam, but in the same sense protect you when you need to drop down a tippet size.  A pleasure to cast and to fish with all day.  Check it out.  For those that enjoy the hopper dropper and need to turn over foam, but fish 5x on the dropper.

Protect your flying Trout

Why do they wiggle, why do the squirm, why can’t they just sit still for a quick pic.  It happens more than I want to admit, the jumping out of the hands brown trout during the photo session.  A way that I protect the trout, is to have the net underneath the trout during the photo session.  As you can notice here the trout is flying and it was saved by the net waiting underneath.  We all want photo’s of the nice ones we catch, now we need to protect them when we do bring out the camera.  Use this little net trick if your stuck in the boat taking photo’s.

brown trout photos