Benthic monitoring by USGS off the southern shore of Lake Ontario from October 1993 to October 1995 provides a detailed view of the early stages of the decline of the native amphipod Diporeia. A loss of the 1994 and 1995 year classes of Diporeia preceded the disappearance of the native amphipod at sites near Oswego and Rochester at depths from 55 to 130 m. In succeeding years, Diporeia populations continued to decline in Lake Ontario and were nearly extirpated by 2008. Explanations for Diporeia 's decline in the Great Lakes include several hypotheses often linked to the introduction and expansion of exotic zebra and quagga mussels (Dreissena sp.). We compare the timeline of the Diporeia decline in Lake Ontario with trends in two sources of organic matter to the sediments — spring diatom blooms and late summer whiting events. The 1994–95 decline of Diporeia coincided with localized dreissenid effects on phytoplankton in the nearshore and a year (April 1994 to May 1995) of decreased flux of organic carbon recorded by sediment traps moored offshore of Oswego. Later declines of profundal (> 90 m) Diporeia populations in 2003 were poorly associated with trends in spring algal blooms and late summer whiting events.
Lake Ontario/Diporeia/Dreissena/remote sensing.