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E-M:/ Recent Hemimysis article - Grand Rapids Press

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Here's a copy of an article that ran in last Friday's Grand Rapids Press.  It also featured one of Steve Pothoven's now famous pictures of Hemimysis, but I couldn't get it by email.


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New invader might threaten the Great Lakes
Subhead (if any) Ship's ballast water likely to blame for arrival of bloody-red shrimp
Byline Howard Meyerson / Press Outdoors Editor
Publication Date 3/30/2007
Edition(s) All Editions
Page D12
Section Outdoors
Keywords Fishing
Graphic? 03302007_GP_*_D012.PDF
Correction Date (if any)  
Correction Text (if any)  
Word_Count 623
Text of Story Federal authorities with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration want Lake Michigan anglers and boaters to keep an eye out this summer for the most recent invader, a tiny crustacean known as Hemimysis anomala, or bloody-red shrimp.
"We've decided to get the public involved looking for the organism," said Dave Reid, director of the Ann Arbor-based National Center for Research on Aquatic Invasive Species. "Its swarming behavior is very unique -- like a cloud of gnats in the water. No other water species does that.
"If people see a strange phenomenon that looks like reddish-tinged insects but underwater, we want them to contact us and give the date and the location."
The tiny shrimp, native to the Black and Caspian seas, was discovered last November in the U.S. Coast Guard basin along the Muskegon channel off Lake Michigan. Experts suspect the shrimp arrived in the ballast water of a ship.
The finding was the first official report of the red invader turning up in U.S. waters. Officials say it also was discovered off Oswego N.Y. on Lake Ontario in the spring of that year, but was not reported until December.
Reports have since trickled in from other locations. Reid received two recent reports from scientists looking for the shrimp. It was found in the stomachs of white perch caught in Lake Erie off Port Dover, Ontario. A second, unconfirmed report, has them in the stomach of a brown trout caught in Wisconsin waters on Lake Michigan.
"We can't verify the second finding," said Reid. "This one had been feeding on shrimp, but we can't verify it because there is a native form of the shrimp in the Great Lakes.
The bloody-red shrimp is named for its red markings and the red cloud it creates underwater when thousands may swarm during the summer and fall. It is a shallow-water denizen, often found in 30 feet of water or less and close to shore.
It belongs to a family of shrimp-like crustaceans known as Mysidacea or mysids. Native mysids in Lake Michigan are a deepwater species usually found offshore as deep as 150 feet. They also lack the colorful markings of the bloody-red shrimp.
Officials say the impact of the new shrimp is unknown. It is thought to be a high-energy food for alewives and perch and may turn out to be a rich food source for those fish.
But red shrimp also feed on the same zooplankton that larval fish need to eat. Scientists speculate that it has the potential to compete with young fish and cripple a population.
"It's a double-edged sword and we don't know where the balance is," said Steve Pothoven, a NCRAIS fish biologist who runs the Muskegon field office at the Coast Guard basin.
"Some people think it will really be an issue, both as a zooplankton predator and contaminant transport, but not everyone buys that. So far no one has reported any impact on their fisheries."
What is known is that the bloody-red shrimp has moved around the world, spreading from its Russian origins. It is reported to have moved across the waters of Europe and arrived in the United Kingdom in 2004.
"We strongly suspect that it's in more than the locations reported so far," said Reid. "It's much too easy for it to get sucked up in ballast water and bait buckets."
Reid said his group is trying to ramp up surveillance for the creature. It has been working with scientists around the region, the shipping industry, various ports and state and federal agencies. Two sampling teams have been established: one on the eastern Lake Michigan shoreline led by Pothoven, the other working from Saginaw Bay down to Lake Erie.

David F. Reid, Ph.D.
Director, NOAA National Center for Research on 
Aquatic Invasive Species (NCRAIS)
Senior Research Scientist, Nonindigenous Species Program
U.S. Department of Commerce
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory
2205 Commonwealth Blvd.
Ann Arbor, MI  48105-2945
Voice: 734-741-2019
FAX: 734-741-2055
GLERL home page:

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