Spiny Water Flea

The Spiny Water Flea is an invasive species that is now found in Saganaga Lake.  It made it’s way from Europe in the ballast of an ocean freighter and ended up in Lake Ontario in 1982.  It quickly spread through all of the Great Lakes by 1987 and now can be found in inland lakes such as Saganaga.  It is transported by anglers who fish in affected areas and do not inspect or clean their fishing line, anchors, props, hulls, or boats prior to entering an unaffected lake.  Once the Spiny Water Flea is transported into a new lake it doesn’t take long for it to establish itself in the new environment.  It reproduces rapidly and easily and since there aren’t many predators interested in eating the barbed tail it tends to thrive.  Although it is less than a centimeter long it eats large quantities of zooplankton which diminishes the food supply for other small bait fish.  With a limited supply of food the baitfish are unable to grow adequately and some do not survive.  What this means for anglers is that the larger gamefish may not be able to find as much food as before the Spiny Water Flea was there and their population may suffer.  In order to prevent the further spread of the Spiny Water Flea anglers should be extremely careful not to transport them. Anglers should drain their live wells, clean fishing gear and lines, power wash their boats, and/or allow their boat/equipment to dry for five days after use in an infected lake.  Please do your part and help prevent the spread of the Spiny Water Flea.