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Nature

Big Fish in the Great Lakes

The ancient lake sturgeon, a threatened species, is making a modest comeback in the Great Lakes after more than a century of overharvest and habitat destruction.
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Even as news spreads of the possible imminent invasion of giant Asian carp in the Great Lakes, there’s also good news — the mammoth, native lake sturgeon is making a comeback, breeding where it hasn’t in decades. Once regarded by European settlers in the region as a trash fish, the sturgeon has long been venerated by Native Americans. Concerted habitat restoration and restocking programs have given new life to the fish, which can live over 100 years and grow to weights of 200 pounds and lengths of greater than six feet. In fact, one Michigan angler a few years ago mistook a resting sturgeon for a floating log — until it swam away.

The comeback is especially welcome news in the Detroit River. Canadian and U.S. officials collaborated on funding to restore sturgeon spawning habitat there, and some natural reproduction is documented in the river.

Also deeply involved in efforts to protect and restore the lake sturgeon are volunteer groups in Michigan and Wisconsin.  Sturgeon for Tomorrow, based in Cheboygan, Michigan, helps police strict conservation and anti-poaching requirements during the sturgeon’s lake spring spawning run in the Black River. Volunteer sturgeon guards do the same in Wisconsin.

A new book, People of the Sturgeon, chronicles the history of human appreciation of and restoration of lake sturgeon in Wisconsin’s Lake Winnebago.

Photo credit:  Lauri Kay Elbing.




3 comments
  1. phil ghee

    Global Warming: A Prescription for the Future

    As I understand it Global Warming has been caused, or rather, greatly accelerated during the 20th Century. This is primarily as a result of two factors: The exuberant burning of Fossil Fuels and the widespread Deforestation of the planet.

    Needless to say the wholesale burning of fossil fuels will not abate until viable, cleaner and economical feasible alternative fuel sources are developed and put into wide scale production, use and, dissimilation.

    Sadly to say, even with the arrival of such new fuel alternatives, will not guarantee timely solutions. Industry as a whole may opt not to avail itself of such innovations. Industry in general has had a long and pathetic history of putting short term profits ahead of gradual increasing profits; regardless of the cost in terms of human suffering and environmental atrocities

    Therefore, in the event of, the arrival of these new alternatives would best be ushered in by Government Intervention. This leads us to another problem. Knowing the pace of red-tape and bureaucracy within practically all the governments of the world and, not to mention the ethical lapses in bribery and the likes; it would be best if Earth not hold its (now toxic) breath for any timely rewards.

    Not truly optimist by either the wherewithal of Governments or Industries, I will challenge my focus and innovated approaches and solutions in the following manner:

    My studies have indicated that the percentages of Greenhouse Gases : Those gases which give rise to global warming, are 75% generated by the burning of fossil fuels and, 25% by deforestation.

    I do have some hesitations about even offering solutions. As far back as 2007, The IPCC* wrote that no one technology or sector can by completely responsible for mitigating future global warming. My fear is that if one sector should substantially make efforts in reducing global warming, would these simply lead to apathy in other technologies and sectors to forgo the effort and expense?

    That being said, I will continue. My plans consist of a three prong attack. And I am focusing only on the ¼% factor of deforestation.

    a. The Lumber, Paper, Ranching any other industries and concerns that currently benefit and aid in the deforestation of the planet may be powerhouses in themselves but, they are in no way as great and influential as those industries such as Manufacturing, Chemical and Petroleum and other Fossil Fuels producers. Therefore more leverage can be more effectively excreted upon them to clean up their act as it were. Not only governments but environmental groups and even concerned masses of enlighten people would possibly be able to have a positive future effect upon them. Sanctions, Limits, Protective Land Grants, Boycotts, Bad Press and even word of mouth can affect companies and concerns operation on that level. I know this may sound unfair to those companies while the giants get off Scott-free but, I am projecting that such a tidal wave may give governments the gumption and fortitude to bring like-wise assaults on the major players; a task which perhaps only government is suited enough to challenge.

    b. The lands that are already devastated, in all cases, still maintain the capacity to be nursed by to health what is missing is the call and concerted mission to do so. Penalties, donations, environmental and volunteer groups, education as well as the industries that caused the deforestation can all be used effectively if, once again, there was a concerted effort to do as such.

    c. This is the most innovated of my plan. It is one they will require the scientific to be redirected and truly think outside the box. I will go into some detail on this plan but to suffice for sake of a bullet-point lets just say it is to reclaim what, at least for this era of time, what was never ours.

    The world as we are now experiencing it is perhaps, barring the Ice Age, consisting of more desolate areas than any other time since the inhabiting of this planet.

    Earth is a dynamic planet constantly in the flux of change rather our minute life spans and history can perceive it or not. The Earth contains massive blocks of land and terrain that fail to support, in any significant numbers, Life. They are therefore deemed desolate. A viewing of the simplistic map above shows some of the more grand areas deemed desolate. And if all the smaller areas not shown were graphed together, I am sure we would have an area as large as mid-sized country. As any scientific minded person knows land masses and terrains are not constants. Many of the world’s highest mountain peaks, once resided on the bottom of seas and oceans. Some of our most arid and desolate deserts were once rain forests. And some of our most volatile volcanoes were simply grazing land for wildlife.

    I believe we now have the technology and resources to reclaim some, if not all, of these so-called desolate areas. We should be able to convert them into, if not truly fertile areas, than at least into areas capable of sustaining large numbers of life forms. And what is the importance of this?

    Briefly, we know that it is life forms that greatly contribute to the maintaining of the Earth’s atmosphere. Animals, plants, fungi, algae and even microscopic life are essential to maintain the balance known as The Oxygen Cycle.

    Even the most hostile environment on the planet has evolved life forms that are able to thrive and thus contribute to this cycle. We have seen no need to cultivate these life forms as since we view these areas of desolate not much study has been generated towards them. But if we change our paradigms in how we view these areas and the life that thrive in them. Who knows what great accomplishments we may derive from such efforts?

    Sure there would be a certain amount of expense needed to convert these areas and they would have to be maintained to ensure that life on large scale will survive because death of the organisms would have the opposite effect of the atmosphere by releasing carbon compounds. However, nothing works in a vacuum once life begin to flourish in these areas they would have the resulting effect of producing clouds, thus precipitation, thus alleviating the need for artificial irrigation or cloud seeding.

    Even areas as dead as salt flats support some type of life. In recent years scientist have discovered life in and around volcanoes living in extreme temperatures once deemed to have been inhospitable for any types of life. Life is thriving at depths, in the ocean, at levels that even pressurized equipment dare not venture into.

    Here is a small sampling of life able to thrive in harsh environments

    You may wonder how any type of plant could possibly grow in the harsh environment of a desert, but many do. Surviving these conditions–aridity and temperatures that range from cold to very hot over the course of a single day–takes a well-adapted plant with unique characteristics. Dry and hot desert surroundings work well for cactus and varieties of plants that thrive in the desert.
    Succulents
    Succulent desert plants include all cacti and a few other varieties. These plants survive long dry periods through storing water. Used in landscaping as focal points or ground cover or grown in pots and containers, cactus plants require water only once a month during the summer season. Some cactus species produce dramatic blossoms in spring and summer. Examples of these desert plants include barrel cactus, organ pipe cactus, cholla, saguaro, prickly pear, agave, hedgehog and datil yucca. Plants in this group range in height from a few inches to more than 20 feet tall.
    Desert Flowers
    Whether annual or perennial, many types of wildflowers are able to live in the desert. These kinds of desert plants often remain dormant through dry periods and the winter season. Seeds from these plants sometimes do not germinate for years, and bloom times vary depending upon the presence of good growing conditions. The majority of plants that grow in the desert are annuals, which live for only short periods, concentrating more on formulating seeds than surviving. They range in height from 1 to 4 feet and come in multiple colors and varieties. Desert annuals include Southwestern cosmos, golden dyssodia, Maximilian sunflower and chia. Low-water perennials include desert marigold, chocolate flower, gaura, blackfoot daisy and Jerusalem sage.
    Trees, Shrubs and Grasses
    Low-water trees that are able to live in the desert can grow in heights ranging from 8 feet to more than 40 feet with matching spreads. Varieties of desert trees include guajillo, various other acacia species and Mexican bird of paradise. Shrubs that thrive in desert conditions range in size from the 1-foot-tall flattop buckwheat up to the 15-foot tall feather bush. A number of the desert shrubs produce vibrant blossoms in an array of colors and sizes. Desert grasses, including ornamentals, live and thrive in deserts. Ranging in height from 1.5 feet to 4 feet, desert-loving grasses include Mexican thread grass, bamboo muhly, deergrass and sideoats grama.

    It is produced during respiration by plants, and by all animals, fungi and microorganisms that depend either directly or indirectly on plants for food. It is thus a major component of the carbon cycle.

    Plant Growth in the Himalayas – The First Climatic Zone
    The first climatic zone (and hence the lowest) is home to forests and plants which typically grow in a forest environment. These plants include pine and fir trees, bamboo plants and rhododendrons.
    Plant Growth in the Himalayas – The Second Climatic Zone
    The second climatic zone is slightly higher and is home to alpine scrub and related plants. Plants and vegetation in this area also includes shrubs and bushes.
    Plant Growth in the Himalayas – The Third Climatic Zone
    The third slightly higher climatic zone is still home to alpine scrub, but this zone contains far more limited plant and vegetation growth such as lichen and moss. As mentioned above, the harsh conditions of the Himalayas mean that plants grow closer to the ground as altitude increases.
    Plant Growth in the Himalayas – The Fourth Climatic Zone
    The fourth climatic zone covers the peaks in access of 1800 feet and due to the permanent presence of ice and snow this terrain is practically uninhabitable and plant life is almost non existent.

    Some bacteria take in carbon dioxide and excrete oxygen and others do the opposite. Those that do excrete oxygen still do not replenish the atmosphere’s oxygen, nothing does, not even the plants. There is simply a balance. While they are alive and growing, bacteria and plants give out oxygen but eventually they die and the carbon carbon they stored while they were growing is returned to the atmosphere. Once a bacteria colony or a forest has finished growing, the waste like dead bacteria or dead leaves, is in exact balance with the oxygen they give out.

    1. Atacama desert plant growing in a salt flat
    image of plant in extremely dry conditions in the Atacama Desert .
    atacamaphoto.com/atacama-flora/atacama-flora46.htm – Similar

    This unidentified tiny plants live in the middle of a salt flat at 4000 m altitude and actually grow on the salt

    Yes; in fact volcanic soil is particularly fertile, so there are often higher populations around volcanoes.

    Okay that’s enough from me. I now offer this paper to the experts and visionaries to digest. As with all my work; I will trust in the good of humans to remember the source and catalyst of these ideas and plans put forth here today.

    Phillip Ghee
    Phillipghee@yahoo.com 310-200-6133

    Also see:

    FuturePundit
    phil ghee on Planet Earth Is Overdue For The 62 Million Year Extinction Cycle. … letter that I sent to my local center specializing in Recycling Science. …
    http://www.futurepundit.com/recentcomments.html – Cached

    Big Fish in the Great Lakes : Planetsave
    Dec 2, 2009 … Phillip ghee said on December 7th, 2009 at 5:48 am … It would seem to me that the hold-up in making recycling a viable option could be …
    planetsave.com/blog/2009/12/02/big-fish-in-the-great-lakes/ – Cached

    .

  2. Bob Wunderlich

    Are you as tired as I am about watching all of those wildebeest get eaten by those crocs every year at that river crossing? Don’t you think it’s about time that someone starts a campaign to raise money to build them a bridge so they can safely cross over? Why hasn’t this been done before?
    Wouldn’t you give a few dollars so that even the dumbest of God’s creation don’t have to run the gauntlet each year?
    I’m going to start a foundation. Maybe call it, The ,”Save a wildebeest from a croc foundation”
    Every year, dozens of photographers and wildlife personnel travel to witness the savage consumption of these helpless animals by 16 ft. crocodiles.
    We help save whales and lumbering manatees. Why not help the wildebeest? I don’t know about you, but, I’m not gonna take it anymore! Let your voice be heard. SAVE THE WILDEBEEST! And give, so we can build that bridge. Let the lazy croc’s find another food source!

  3. Phillip ghee

    Gentlemen below please find a letter that I sent to my local center specializing in Recycling Science. However, please be my guest in sending out this letter to other Industries charged with the same function.

    Thank You

    ____________________________________________________________________

    Advanced Recycling Sciences, Inc.

    2030 Main St. Ste. 1300

    Irvine, CA

    92614

    United States

    Dear Staff,

    Due to the dire straits of our planet and what seems to be a generalized apathy with improving Recycling Technology; I would like to pose a question or, rather more of a challenge.

    As I understand it the main hindrance with making Plastic Recycling (specifically with bottles and containers) unprofitable and labor intensive is the following:

    Plastic recycling rates lag far behind those of other items, such as newspaper (about 80%) and corrugated fiberboard (about 70%). Low national plastic recycling rates have been due to the complexity of sorting and processing, unfavorable economics, and consumer confusion about which plastics can actually be recycled Part of the confusion has been due to the recycling symbol that is usually on all plastic items
    This symbol is called a resin identification code. It is stamped or printed on the bottom of containers and surrounded by a triangle of arrows. The intent of these arrows was to make it easier to identify plastics for recycling. The recycling symbol doesn’t necessarily mean that the item will be accepted by residential recycling programs. They just indicate the plastic resin content.
    Now since items slated for recycling must be sorted by hand per resin identification code this makes the process labor intensive and not cost effective. Thus the landfills grower even greater and the oceans even filthier.
    It would seem to me that the hold-up in making recycling a viable option could be solved very easily, that is, if scientific minds were directed to do such. For instance, what if already existing scientific apparatuses were slightly modified to address identification in an automated fashion. Let me suggest for starters, The Spectrometer. I assume that you will take the initiative to survey the current uses of The Spectrometer. I am sure it can be modified to scan and detect, if not the component of the material itself than at least some embedded element included in the production process of such containers. Countries that import such container would be held to a more ecological standard by having such innovations.
    But don’t stop there. There are probably a host of scientific apparatuses that could meet or even exceed the Spectrometer that I don’t even have knowledge of. Please gentlemen, exert yourselves, our future depends on it.
    I am sure that you will not forget the catalysis and the source of this challenge.

    Phillip Ghee
    Phillipghee@yahoo.com
    310-200-6133

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