News‎ > ‎

Are Wolves Fish Friends or Foes?

posted Jun 30, 2019, 7:51 PM by chloe owens

5/20/2019, by Karrun Farmaha, Great Lakes Echo

Are wolves fish friends or foes?

Should Upper Peninsula fish fear wolves? Or thank them? A clue may be in Yellowstone National Park studies that show fish populations are rising there since the gray wolf population boomed. Meanwhile, other scientists are studying how wolves catch and eat fish in Minnesota…ungulates may graze their cover. But when predators are present, they are more restricted, and won’t graze their cover.” As fewer trees and cover are grazed, they become more dense, according to the Oregon State University study. That provided more cover over the water which affects multiple factors for the fish. Extra cover causes streams to cool. It also provides more nutrients – creating a better habitat for fish to thrive in. The cover also protects the stream banks from erosion – allowing more space for more fish…Apex predators like wolves could affect northern Michigan white-tailed deer and elk behavior and the entire ecosystem, said Dean Beyer, a wildlife research biologist at the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Such impacts are called trophic cascades, a theory advanced by the famous naturalist Aldo Leopold…In Voyageurs National Park in Northern Minnesota, Gable’s research team found wolves that hunted and killed freshwater fish like northern pike and white suckers. It is not unusual for wolves to hunt salmon in coastal areas, as they are big, easy to catch and predictable, Gable said.