Wednesday, 21 April 2021

 Great Lakes Monsters


An article caught my eye:

Extracts :Operated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the 180-foot Lake Guardian is the largest research vessel on the Great Lakes.When the ice melts each spring, the ship visits each of the five lakes to measure basic water quality and sample the “lower food web” -- the tiny animals, plants, and algae that support fish and other aquatic life.

The Lake Guardian hits Lake Michigan first in early April, then heads east to Huron and Erie before visiting Ontario. Lake Superior, where the ship was headed on Tuesday, is the last stop because the ice there tends to linger longer.It will be months before the data collected they collected on Lake Ontario will be analyzed, but Scofield, a Texas native who earned a doctorate degree from Cornell University three years ago, said it appears water quality and nutrient loads in the lake are relatively stable -- at least compared to the past.

By the 1960s, human interaction with Lake Ontario had changed it for the worse. Wanton discharges of sewage and man-made fertilizers, not to mention toxic chemicals, had degraded water quality.The water was choked with aquatic plants and algae, including the species that that washes up on the shore and fouls beaches was everywhere. The lake was a pit.Concerted efforts in the United States and Canada in the 1970s reduced the pollutants being dumped in the lake, and water quality rebounded. Rotting algae became rare along the shoreline.

Then, beginning in the late 1980s, oceangoing freighters inadvertently brought zebra and quagga mussels to the Great Lakes from waterways in the former Soviet Union.With none of their natural predators to keep them in check, the small molluscs spread uncontrolled. They feed by filtered tiny phytoplankton (aquatic plants) and algae out of the water, and were so numerous they dramatically improved water clarity.This might be considered a good thing, except that in so doing they deprived native species of that food source.


What does all this pollution and none native species invasion mean for the so called monsters resident in the lakes? Are they still alive or have they been killed off by pollution? Lack of recent sightings may indicate the worse.Read about them below.


Lake Ontario Monster :

Lake Michigan and Lake Huron Monsters:

Lake Erie Monster:

Lake Superior Monster:

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