Education can prevent the devastating effect of invasive species introductions on our lakes and streams.
Most anglers recognize a balance of aquatic plants and algae is important for maintaining
a healthy lake with an abundance of fish. Some anglers prefer more or less plants, but
most realize an out-of-balance system is harmful to all.
Aquatic plants provide the important ecosystem service of filtering water, giving shelter
to fish and invertebrates, and offering a target for recreational anglers. “There is nothing
like the anticipation of a strike when working a topwater lure or poppin-bug over
submersed vegetation… Every twitch of the bait keeps an angler on edge, ready for that
sudden and explosive strike that pumps adrenaline through your veins at the speed of
Complex aquatic cycles exist in our lakes and streams and vary
as much as ocean cycles, albeit on a smaller scale. To simplify
things, anglers who fish across the U.S. categorize waterbodies
based on five groups: natural lakes, highland reservoirs,
lowland reservoirs, riverine, and tidal systems. Food chains in
natural lakes tend to be dominated by the growth cycles of
aquatic plants and algae. Reservoirs, riverine, and tidal systems
all tend to be driven by sediment and algal-based food webs
that ebb and flow with currents and nutrient levels.
The abundance and diversity of aquatic life in our lakes, such as crawfish, midges, fish,
and fowl, are dependent on the proper balance of food chains. The Aquatic Ecosystem
Restoration Foundation (AERF) facilitates the progressive
understanding of nuisance and invasive species to ultimately
provide us a better understanding of how to protect this delicate
balance. Encroachment of a single invasive species can easily
damage our lakes like a locus scourge on a Kansas wheat field.
Educating the public about the dangers of accidental introductions
of plants, harmful algae, and other invasive species must continue.
Without this knowledge, anglers like you and me could unknowingly
cause the spread of nuisance species and the eventual demise of the
natural resources we enjoy.
Please share the word about invasive species and visit the AERF
website for publications and more in-depth information
Jeff Holland, Bassmaster
Southern Open professional
bass angler and Limnologist.