Uncle Hyena (unclehyena) wrote,
Uncle Hyena
unclehyena

Shark!

There was an article in the Chicago Tribune today to the extent that the introduction of salmon into the Great Lakes has been so successful that, due to some other circumstances, the alewives may actually be UNDERPOPULATED. This sets off strange thoughts in the sicker parts of my brain...

First, some history. Once upon a time, the climax predator of the Lake Huron. Lake Michigan complex (actually one big lake) was the lake trout; there was a commercial fishery, and 100 pound specimens were not unknown. When the St. Lawrence Seaway opened, lampreys (a nasty eel-like thing) came in from the Atlantic and nearly destroyed the lake trout population, and the alewife came in from the Atlantic and expanded like crazy in the absence of significant predators. (During the mid sixties, there was a mound of dead alewives six to eight inches deep and several feet across on EVERY beach on Lake Michigan. It was nasty.) Salmon were introduced to control the alewives, and now there is a significant sport fishery. Lately the zebra mussel, a European freshwater shellfish, has gotten a foothold in the lakes, and is wrecking havoc of its own.

So... The ecology of the Huron-Michigan is jazzed all to hell, and has been for more than fifty years. And being the sort of sick bastard I am, I find myself thinking, "Why not sharks?" Now, I know that the parts of my brain that come up with this sort of thing must never, EVER be listened to, but still...

The freshwater bull sharks of Lake Nicaragua are genetically identical to the bull sharks found elsewhere in the world. There is even a fair amount of evidence of transmigration between the two populations. Bull sharks just seem to have an incredibly broad tolerance for salinity. Bull sharks can be found in US coastal waters...

It would be possible to fit a truck with tanks, capture some small bull sharks, transport them to Lake Michigan, wean them to fresh water, and turn them loose. Huron-Michigan is cold relative to their normal habitat, and it is questionable if they could survive the near freezing winter conditions, and it would be REALLY hard to introduce enough of the things to establish a breeding population in any case, but still...

Ok, I am fully aware that this idea is illegal, and wrong, and sick, and EVIL. And I really have no intention of even thinking about implementing it. But still...

Sharks.

In Lake Michigan.

How cool is that?

Uncle Hyena
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