CSI Great Lakes: Fish forensics

Capital News Service

LANSING — Some trout in Great Lakes tributaries are just as contaminated with a chemical linked to respiratory, liver and skin ailments as the Pacific salmon that they eat, according to a new study. The findings should help those making decisions on eating fish, dam removal and stocking, according to the researchers. Pacific salmon, such as Chinook and coho, are large sports fish that live most of their lives in the Great Lakes and then spawn and die in rivers and streams.
The study by University of Notre Dame biologists looked for PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) in salmon tissue during autumn spawning runs in tributaries of lakes Huron, Michigan and Superior. It compared that tissue with the tissue of native brook trout and mottled sculpin that live full time in the same rivers and eat the eggs and flesh of the salmon. The results showed the organic pollutant levels of the two types of fish are a close match in those living in Lake Huron and Lake Michigan tributaries.

Lake bottoms, visible from space, may hint at trout comeback

Capital News Service
LANSING — It might seem counterintuitive, but when trying to examine the bottom of Lake Huron, researchers discovered it is helpful to take a look from space. Satellite imagery offers a new tool for identifying nearshore habitats where lake trout spawn across broad areas of the Great Lakes, according to a recent study in the Journal of Great Lakes Research. Researchers have been using satellite imagery to look at how the distribution of lake-floor algae in the Great Lakes is changing, said Amanda Grimm, lead author of the study and an assistant research scientist at the Michigan Tech Research Institute in Ann Arbor. While studying lake trout rehabilitation in the Drummond Island Refuge in northern Lake Huron, U.S. Geological Survey researchers noticed that the stony reefs, where they found lake trout laying eggs, were cleaner of algae than surrounding areas, Grimm said. They realized the difference might be seen from satellite, which would help find good lake trout spawning grounds.

Preuss Pets updates its quirky look


By Cynthia Lee
Old Town Lansing Times Staff Reporter

Preuss Pets store in Old Town had artist Bob Welton installed an artsy look to the outside of the store. The tropical trees adds the attraction to the unique pet store. The store has always been hard to miss when entering Old Town. The pet store enhanced their tropical appearance, adding more features that help give Old Town it unique quirky look. “I felt as if we were missing something, and I love adding new things to the store,” said owner Rick Preuss.

Fish may benefit from replacing culverts with bridges

Capital News Service
LANSING — Replacing culverts with bridges may benefit fish because of improved connectivity of streams in a watershed, a pilot project in the Huron-Manistee National Forests shows. But doing so also creates risks of more pathways for invasive species to spread and of fine sediments that can smother fish spawning beds, a study by U.S. Forest Service and University of Notre Dame scientists cautioned. “These trade-offs need to be weighed on an individual basis,” said Nathan Evans, a doctoral student at Notre Dame and lead author of the study. “Each stream is different. The pros may outweigh the cons in one stream.