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Green Visions: What does it want? "Indefinite persistance." How can we stop it? Swedish dish cloths.

Copyright Dr. Donn Branstrator. Used with permission.

Behold the spiny water flea: a single black eye, a barbed tail, and it reproduces asexually.  Small fish, like young walleyes and yellow perch, can't eat it because of the spiny tail.

Then to add insult to injury, it turns around and eats the very things those same young fish eat - and out-competes them -  leading to slower-growing bigger fish. Plus it's decimating populations of the zooplankton that help keep algae in check and lake systems in balance.

Credit Copyright Dr. Donn Branstrator. Used with permission.
a closer look

In a recent interview, with Dr. Donn Branstrator, the Co-Director of the Water Resources Science Graduateprogram at UMD, National Geographic (Tim Folger, "This ferocious water flea is mauling the Great Lakes," December 2, 2020) said "the tiny invader has already permanently altered the base of the food web on which all the lakes’ fish depend."

What does it want?  "Indefinite persistence."  How do you stop it? Dry gear and Swedish dish cloths.

You can find out more about ways to stop the spiny water flea here at the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center (MAISRC) website, including information on how to get a dishcloth:


Lisa Johnson started her broadcast career anchoring the television news at her high school and spinning country music at KWWK/KOLM Radio in Rochester, Minnesota. She was a reporter and news anchor at KTHI in Fargo, ND (not to mention the host of a children's program called "Lisa's Lane") and a radio reporter and anchor in Moorhead, Bismarck, Wahpeton and Fergus Falls.Since 1991, she has hosted Northland Morning on KUMD. One of the best parts of her job includes "paying it forward" by mentoring upcoming journalists and broadcasters on the student news team that helps produce Northland Morning. She also loves introducing the different people she meets in her job to one another, helping to forge new "community connections" and partnerships.Lisa has amassed a book collection weighing over two tons, and she enjoys reading, photography, volunteering with Animal Allies Humane Society and fantasizing about farmland. She goes to bed at 8pm, long before her daughter, two cats, or three dogs.
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