The spiny water flea (Bythotrephes longimanus) is an aquatic invasive zooplankton native to Northern Europe and Asia. On a fishing line, spiny water fleas look like bristly gobs of jelly with black spots. Spiny and fishhook waterfleas cause similar impacts on invaded systems by changing the zooplankton community and interfering with recreational activities. Spiny water fleas produce rapidly through parthenogenesis, commonly known as asexual reproduction, which means that no males are required and populations can explode in number. However, the species tend to gather in masses on fishing lines and downrigger cables, so anglers may be the first to discover a new infestation. Why is Spiny Water Flea a threat to Quabbin fishing? Both spiny waterflea and fishhook waterflea are zooplankton that have long tail spines. Because they are so small and translucent, they are virtually invisible. “It’s commonly believed that human recreational activity is the primary vector of spread for spiny water flea, but little is known about the specific pathways they take,” added Dr. Valerie Brady, co-researcher. Blood Run’s round-shaped 30lb “Super Slick” Sea Flea line combines slick nylon resins into the monofilament construction to resist “hangers on” in heavy spiny water flea conditions. Bring ice or freezer packs if you will need to keep fish fresh. This rapid reproduction rate can have a huge impact on aquatic life and recreational activities in la… Questions? You can also sign-up for email updates at WinnebagoWaterways.org. The Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance is an independent nonprofit organization that identifies and advocates effective policies and actions that protect, restore, and sustain water resources in the Fox-Wolf River Basin. How do I identify SWF? However, it has been documented that spiny waterfleas are more numerous in systems with water temperatures closer to the lower end of their temperature tolerance. Spiny Water Fleas are often a nuisance to trollers when they build up on the line, they create added drag as well as clogging the tip top line … Photo: Jeff Gunderson, Minnesota Sea grant Program There is currently no effective strategy to control spiny water flea once they are established, so prevention is key. What looks like bristly globs of jelly with black spots is actually many spiny water fleas tangled on a fishing line. Final results from this project are expected in summer 2019. Spiny water flea are spread by attaching themselves to fishing lines, anchor ropes, fishing nets, canoes and kayaks as well as water found within bait buckets, live wells, and bilge water of boats. A must have tool for the avid Great Lakes Troller. The long tail of the spiny water flea has a number of hook-like barbs which causes it to stick to fishing line and cables trolled through the water when fishing. The most distinguishable feature is the loop at the end of the tail that resembles a fishhook. Both species are able to reproduce asexually, by cloning, and also sexually, and can multiply very quickly. spiny water-flea Taxonomy: available through www.itis.gov Identification: Bythotrephes longimanus is a large cladoceran distinguished by a long straight tail spine that is twice as long as its body and has one to three pairs of barbs. Spiny water flea competes for food with rainbow smelt and other small fish, the food many game fish species depend upon. Blood Run Tackle utilizes a special coating in the manufacturing process of the Sea Flee Monofilament to prevent Spiny Water Fleas from clinging to the line. They can be carried to a new lake and introduced there if water is dumped out of a boat, bait bucket or livewell that just came from one of the Great Lakes. Spiny water fleas can impact aquatic life in lakes and ponds due to their rapid reproduction rates. This line offers 20x the abrasion resistance of other leading brands. Thousands of fishhook and spiny waterfleas encrust a fishing line in June 2019, giving the appearance of a long worm. In its simplest form, etiquette is nothing more than doing the right thing at the right time for a particular situation. I should mention, too, that the closer the ball of fleas is to the bottom of the lake (they look like a cloud of bait on your sonar screen), the better the perch fishing. The spiny water flea, eggs and larvae may be caught up in fishing line, downriggers, fishing nets, and other fishing equipment, which has caused the spread of the water flea to inland lakes and rivers. They can clog eyelets of fishing rods and attach to fishing line. Every month, we will put a spotlight on an aquatic invasive species (AIS) in a re-occurring monthly article. Spiny waterflea have a single long tail with small spines along its length. How to use your Fleastripper tool to remove fishhook fleas or spiny water fleas from your fishing line. Spiny waterfleas originally arrived in the Great Lakes through the ballast water of cruise ships, tankers and cargo carriers. The Spiny Water Flea (Bythotrephes longimanus) is a crustacean with its straight tail spine averaging about 70% of its length. About this webinar: When anglers fish on a lake infested with spiny water flea, they risk leaving the lake with infested gear. In recent years a popular way is to go to thirty plus feet of water; drop anchor and bait fish with a jig. How Spiny Waterfleas Spread. This invasive species outcompetes native species for food, which can have cascading impacts to the entire food web. All text from this article is from the Winnebago Waterways AIS Strategic Plan. Life cycle. Also, fishing lines and downriggers will often be coated with both eggs and adults. Similar Species: Spiny water flea If new individuals are created sexually, they do not have a kink in the tail. The spiny water flea (Bythotrephes longimanus) is an invasive zooplankton that has been spreading into Minnesota’s inland lakes.Preventing the spread of spiny water flea (SWF) to uninfested lakes is an important management priority because SWF can reduce … Since it’s February and Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, we are highlight two similar invasive species that are like peas in a pod: Spiny and Fishhook waterfleas! Spiny water flea is a member of the Crustacea, a large taxonomic group that includes crayfish, shrimp, and crabs. Its average length is only about one centimeter, but its long tail spine (70% of animal's total length) makes it easily distinguishable from other invertebrates and zooplankton. al., 2011; Strecker et al., 2006; Yan & Pawson, 1997). When water temperatures begin to cool sexual reproduction occurs. This large predatory zooplankton is a generalist feeder an… The tail spines of the spiny water flea hook on fishing lines and foul fishing gear. Identification Adults range from 1/4 to 5/8 inch long. ... fishing line while fishing in Lake George. “Through this research, we hope to be able to draw attention to specific pieces of equipment that should be the focus of cleaning efforts so we can minimize the risk of spreading spiny water flea to any new lakes.”. It is not an insect as its name might sound, but is actually a cladoceran, which is a type of crustacean. Both fishhook and spiny waterfleas are commonly first found in newly invaded waterbodies by anglers. Spiny waterfleas spread by Photo by Jeff Gunderson, University of Connecticut Photo by Jeff Gunderson, University of Connecticut 2 / 2 Place of Origin Spiny waterflea (Bythotrephes longimanus) and fishhook waterflea (Cercopagis pengoi) are AIS that share similar life histories and cause similar impacts when they invade waterbodies. Spiny water fleas entered the Great Lakes in ship ballast water from Europe, arriving in the 1980s. Spiny water fleas and their eggs are easily transported in the standing water of boats and bait buckets. During each simulation, they used three stationary anchors, three towed fishing lines (monofilament, braided, and fluorocarbon), a towed downrigger with steel cable and monofilament line, a towed bait bucket, and a simulated live well. Spiny water fleas can impact aquatic life in lakes and ponds due to their rapid reproduction rates. Spiny and fishhook waterfleas can affect recreational angling and commercial fishing. Spiny water fleas have a single long tail. Spiny waterfleas are microscopic animals, also known as zooplankton, that live in open water. If boaters plan to be lake hopping, make sure that lake water in livewells and bait buckets and bait are not transferred from lake to lake. The Spiny Water Flea has a large eye that is usually black or red. Comments? Spiny Water Flea (SWF) Where are SWF from and how did they get here? Spiny waterflea has four pairs of legs on the underside of their body and is similar in appearance to the fishhook water flea, but lacks the “hook” at the end of its tail. They can tolerate a wide range of environmental conditions but are most numerous when water temperatures are between 50°F-75.2°F. However, due to the life history of the waterfleas, these species may have arrived to the Great Lakes as resting eggs (fertilized eggs that are shed in Autumn to “rest” in the lake bottom sediments and hatch the following Spring). they collect on your line and look like a gelatinous glob. Drift Boat Etiquette. Spiny water flea is native to Eurasia and was introduced into the Great Lakes via freighter ballast in the mid-1980s. Why is Spiny Water Flea a threat to Quabbin fishing? They can decimate populations of Daphnia and other native zooplankton, resulting in a decreased food source for native fish and an increase in algal blooms. The tail has one to three barbs on it. AIS Pathway Spotlight: Canals, Dams, and Diversions, Water quality program wraps up in Shawano County, Join Fox-Wolf and Help Monitor for Chlorides this Winter, Winnebago Waterways Steering Team Seeks Members at Large. During twilight hours, when spiny water fleas are moving up the water column to feed, live wells also appear to be ensnaring a lot of animals. Much energy can be gained by breaking the bonds between atoms in the fats An invasive species, the spiny water flea, was recently found in a New York lake. Photo courtesy of Lake Champlain Basin Program . Some of these ru... EPA Launches Web Forum on How to Best Protect America’s Drinking Water. In the open water season, the key to enjoying some phenomenal yellow perch fishing is as simple as motoring around the lake and locating a ball of suspended water fleas using your sonar and then fishing around it.