The Great Lakes Science Center has conducted lake-wide bottom trawl surveys of the fish community in Lake Michigan each fall since 1973. These systematic surveys are performed at depths of 9 to 110 m at each of seven index sites around Lake Michigan. Zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) populations have expanded to all survey locations and at a level to sufficiently contribute to the bottom trawl catches. The quagga (Driessena bugensis), recently reported in Lake Michigan, was likely in the catches though not recognized. Dreissena spp. biomass ranged from about 0.6 to 15 kg/ha at the various sites in 1999. Dreissenid mussels were found at depths of 9 to 82 m, with their peak biomass at 27 to 46 m. The colonization of these exotic mussels has ecological implications as well as potential ramifications on the ability to sample fish consistently and effectively with bottom trawls in Lake Michigan.
Additional publication details
Lake-wide distribution of Dreissena in Lake Michigan, 1999