Lake Superior is not just a lake by name; it is the largest freshwater lake in the world. The lake’s volume is so humongous that it can cover both North and South America in at least one foot of water. With an average depth if 147 meters or 483 feet of water, Lake Superior had claimed a huge number of water vessels lost at sea. To date, a record of 350 shipwrecks succumbed to its treacherous waters along with thousands of people who died in these ill-fated travels.
The lake holds up to 10 percent of all the fresh surface water on Earth and covers 82,000 sq km or 31,700 sq mi. Because of its size, Lake Superior takes pride in hosting thousands of plants and animals, which make up its diverse ecology. Lake Superior serves as a home to 78 different species of fish alone alongside many, many other life forms.
With all that water Lake Superior contains, it’s no wonder that many varieties of fish species thrive in the area. Anglers usually hunt for varieties of fish like perch, shiners, and trout. A lot of people can even reel in nocturnal fish that feeds at the bottom of the lake including deepwater sculpin.
One of the most peculiar fish species in Lake Superior is probably the burbot. Because of its strange long body, the fish is known to many as eelpout. Burbot spawns before the ice begins to melts.
Plantlife in Lake Superior
Sandy soils that are acidic in nature most often than not surround the shorelines and coasts of Lake Superior. These type of soils known as poor fens are commonly found in extreme northern climate. Many carnivorous plants thrive on these poor fens because of slow decomposition rates. Plant life that flourishes in Lake Superior includes buckbean, marsh, St. Johns-wort, pitcher plants and bog rosemary. Due to ever-changing seasons and climate change, marshes can also occur around the lake. There plants like bulrush, blue-joint grass, bell-flower thrives. In some days, one can even spot meadow willow and meadowsweet, type of shrub-like plants.
Other Creatures at Lake Superior
Aside from fish species, there are other aquatic animals that thrive in Lake Superior. These creatures make up the bottom part of the Lake Superior’s food chain. Other larger animals on the lake feed on these aquatic animals which includes water fleas, copepods, rotifers, zooplankton, and phytoplankton. Some of these creatures feed on each other in order to survive the harsh reality of the lake’s diverse ecosystem.
Abundant tiny invertebrates dwell on Lake Superior like chironomids and mayfly whose presence indicates the very healthy water condition of the lake. These also include snails, clams, shrimp, and amphipods. Countless ships and boats that traverse in the Great Lake waters introduced some of these tiny water creatures in Lake Superior.
However, as industrialization kicks in, the waterways of the Great Lakes become so accessible to all sea vessels, some invasive fish species make their way to dwell well in Lake Superior’s ecosystem. These creatures threaten the good balance of the marine ecosystem in Lake Superior.
Invasive plants life like the Eurasian watermilfoil often formed dense clumps submerged underwater. These plants disrupt the fun of fishing and other water activities such as boating.
One of the most dangerous invasive species in Lake Superior is the sea lamprey, a jawless sea parasite that came from the Atlantic Ocean. It’s one of the most aggressive predators in Lake Superior, only one of seven fish can survive their attacks. Some invasive species tag along with the bottom of the boat that sails in the Great Lakes these include quagga, rusty crayfish, and not to mention the notorious zebra mussels. The zebra mussels and the quagga pose a great threat to the native reducing their size and even causing extinctions in other parts of the lake.
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