Saturday, May 9, 2015

Alewife Mermaid of Lake Michigan

Biologists spent 66 years trying to eliminate Alewives from Lake Michigan. Thanks to all that effort they have largely succeeded, and unintentionally put several other species of fish that rely on the Alewife as their main food source at risk, too. If the Alewife does not reproduce in large numbers this July, it could be a curtain call for the species, and might very well take the Chinook salmon with it, too. Nice work, Poindexters. Science.

Despite being viewed as a nuisance species by many, the Alewife has its fans. Growing to an average of 10 inches, Alewives most probably got their name because their shape is reminiscent to some of a buxom female tavernkeeper.

The history of Alewives invading the Great Lakes and exploding in population, then becoming a nuisance that required introduction of a salmon species to quell its numbers and the subsequent imbalance in that ecosystem is a lesson and an ongoing referendum on tampering with ecosystems. 

Alewife Sprite Mermaid

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