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Lake Michigan fishing at an end?

August 30, 2011 | 10:28 am

Quagga Commercial fishing on Lake Michigan may be breathing its last, gasping wheeze. A fishery that at the turn of the 20th century accounted for an average of 40 million pounds of trout, perch, whitefish and others annually has just lost its last fishing boat out of the once-thriving Milwaukee harbor. That's the report from the Milwaukee Journal's Dan Egan. The culprit isn't the expected overfishing (that is yesterday's issue on the Great Lakes ... the catch had already plummeted to 14 million pounds as long ago as the 1940s). Instead, the death blow has been dealt by a tiny, Junior Mint-sized invasive foreign mussel called the quagga, which has carpeted the bottom of the lake, sucking up so much of the plankton that there is little left for larger fish to feed on.

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Photo: A tennis shoe coated in quagga mussels. Credit: Kobbi R. Blair/Associated Press.