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Dead Fish Wash up on Lake Michigan Shoreline

Did you know that there is a type of fish in Lake Michigan that simply dies off due to changes to their environment?

These types of fish are called the Alewive. They are an invasive species, which means that they arrived in Lake Michigan by accident. They came here through the Welland Canal in the 1930s, about 70 years ago. They are native to the Atlantic Ocean.

Alewives are a saltwater fish. They are a silver color. They grow ten inches minimum. The maximum length for an adult is 16 inches.

This type of fish can reproduce so much that they get caught in waters where they can not regulate their body temperature. If this occurs, they end up dying; however the new offspring usually find their way back to the herd.

Alewives became overpopulated due to the lack of predators. Changes of temperature in the water is the main reason why they die off. This typically leads to smelly and contaminated lakes as they wash up on the shore.

It is unusual to read about a fish that just dies off because of changes to its environment. These mass die-offs cause many problems, especially for beach-goers.

[Sources: Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel; Wisconsin DNR; Image Credits:Lester Graham, Michigan Radio]

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