Invasive fish taken from Lake Tahoe not only go to homeless shelters, but will feed bears as well!
Many lakes in North America suffer from the dirge of invasive species. Some of the unwelcome guests of the aquatic world, whether set free purposely or by accident, can cause great harm to natural ecosystems.
Now researchers on Lake Tahoe, one of America’s most famous lakes, have come up with a unique solution to the ever increasing problem of invasive intruders.
Researchers are removing invasive species by electrofishing and feeding them to the homeless and even bears!
The electrofishing method is normally used for the study of fish health and populations by collecting scale samples, studying size, and inspecting overall health.
Since electrofishing, sometimes referred to as “electroshocking,” only temporarily stuns the fish, native species can be safely returned to the water while invasive species are kept.
Christine Ngai and her colleagues at the University of Nevada have removed some 51,000 fish in just three years.
The larger invasive fish that are culled then are given to food pantries such as St. Vincent’s dining hall.
Being that some of the fish removed are too small to be used for human consumption, part of the catch is given to the Animal Ark wildlife shelter in Reno, Nevada to be enjoyed by several bears.
The rest is composted and used as fertilizer on the lawns of the University itself, leaving almost nothing to waste and proving that even an invasive species may be put to good use.
Images, unless specified, via Scientific American