By MORGAN LINN
Capital News Service
LANSING — The spiny water flea is a small invader of lakes in Michigan that could cause big and expensive problems.
A recent study of a Wisconsin lake reveals what may be in store for inland lakes throughout the Great Lakes region. The crustacean has clouded that state’s Lake Mendota after boaters transported it there from Lake Michigan, said Steve Carpenter, director of the Center for Limnology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The damage it has done to water clarity could cost millions of dollars to restore, according to a new study co-authored by Carpenter and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. The research has implications for other lakes in the region, such as inland lakes in Michigan. The spiny water flea was introduced into the region in the 1980s and has proliferated through all five of the Great Lakes, according to the study.