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Mar 08

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So many fish, so little lake

Lake Erie Sunrise

Lake Erie has only about two percent of the water in the Great Lakes… But roughly half the fish.

“During 40 of the 55 years between 1915 and 1970, Lake Erie produced more fish for human consumption than the other four Great Lakes combined,” says Jeff Reutter, former Director of Ohio Sea Grant.

He says Lake Erie is the warmest and shallowest, so there are many areas for fish to spawn. And fertilizer and manure run off farm fields into the lake, fueling the growth of algae and zooplankton that small fish eat.

But too much runoff can lead to excessive algae and harmful algal blooms. So reducing nutrient pollution will help keep the ecosystem thriving.

 

Reutter explains why harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie are expected to get worse with climate change:

Get Schooled:

The fine print:

 

 

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.currentcast.org/agricultural-runoff/so-many-fish-so-little-lake/