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Old 06-19-2006, 03:12 PM
Humble Servant Humble Servant is offline
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Dangerous Creatures of Lake Michigan

Ignoring zebra mussels, e coli, asian carp and the like, are there, or have there ever been, any dangerous creatures lurking in Lake Michigan? I primarily mean creatures immediately dangerous to humans, such as sharks, jellyfish, hippos or (the bogie of my childhood) bloodsuckers? How far back in time for big lake bathing to involve such interesting possibilities?
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  #2  
Old 06-19-2006, 03:28 PM
Uncommon Sense Uncommon Sense is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Humble Servant
Ignoring zebra mussels, e coli, asian carp and the like, are there, or have there ever been, any dangerous creatures lurking in Lake Michigan? I primarily mean creatures immediately dangerous to humans, such as sharks, jellyfish, hippos or (the bogie of my childhood) bloodsuckers? How far back in time for big lake bathing to involve such interesting possibilities?
Aren't the Great Lakes fairly new to this planet, like since the end of the last Ice Age (about 10,000 years ago)? I would imagine (without doing any research) that the indigenous species have pretty much been the same since day one.
10,000 years isn't much time for an inland freshwater lakes' creatures to change much.
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Old 06-19-2006, 05:13 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is online now
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The Great Lakes were formed within Human memory, around 10-15000 years ago.
http://www.epa.gov/glnpo/monitoring/...come_from.html

During the Ice Age, glaciers covered central North America as far south as Kansas and Nebraska, as far east as New York and as far west as the Northern West Coast. In some places, the glaciers were over 6,500 feet thick, almost a mile-and-a-quarter high. Through the sheer weight of the ice, coupled with the varying hardness of the rocks beneath it, the glaciers tore up the river terrain, creating natural dams and dikes that obstructed the drainage of the ancient river system. As the glacier receded from North America, the Great Lakes began to form from the melting receding glacial water, which had enlarged the original river basin. During the Ice Age, modern humans, saber tooth tigers, mammoths, and numerous other animals began to roam the Earth. In addition, the first grasslands, herbaceous plants, and forests developed.About 10,000 years ago, around the time that the glacier receded, the first inhabitants of the Great Lakes area appeared. IT is believed that these Native Americans came from South America or across the land bridge once connecting the continents of North America and Asia in Alaska.

Gar get fairly big, maybe 70lb, and I'd hate to have one get mad at me. I have never heard of anyone getting seriously hurt by a gar- outside of s stupid fisherman and a gar in his boat, but this site
http://www.humankinetics.com/product...xcerpt_id=3198
"One large freshwater fish that can bite is the gar. "

So, the Great lakes are and were pretty damn safe, fauna-wise.
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Old 06-19-2006, 05:23 PM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
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The Winds of lake Michigan. The water tempurature gets to be in the upper 30's in summer, except the shallow bays. Elephant seals and other larger sea mamals may ocassionaly go a ways up the St. Lawerence. The falls of Niagra has kept and anamals from getting into the Great Lakes without help from man. Yo may incounter a large sturgeon, but I have only heard of attacks on canoes in olds tales. Nothing in the newspapers that I know of. Unless you want to go with the Lake Monster sightings since the mid 1800's. The reports are usualy of the eel type of Lake Monster.
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Old 06-19-2006, 05:33 PM
Squink Squink is offline
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Sturgeon can occasionally be deadly:
High-flying sturgeon causes havoc
The story is about a Gulf sturgeon, but I seem to recall similar sturgeon stories from the great lakes.
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Old 06-19-2006, 06:27 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
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I've lived on Lake Michigan all my life, and my ancestors fished the lake since the late 1840's.

In all that time, a few folks have been distressed by the swish of a large sturgeon's tail (but they've been gone from the lake waters for nearly half a century) but otherwise the chief dangers of the waters here are death by hypothermia and drowning. The lake can go from calm as glass to 15+ foot swells capable of sinking the Carl Bradley in short order.
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Old 06-19-2006, 10:31 PM
Colibri Colibri is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncommon Sense
Aren't the Great Lakes fairly new to this planet, like since the end of the last Ice Age (about 10,000 years ago)? I would imagine (without doing any research) that the indigenous species have pretty much been the same since day one.
10,000 years isn't much time for an inland freshwater lakes' creatures to change much.
The most dangerous aquatic animal of the region in the Pleistocene was probably the Giant Beaver, but it died out about the same time the Great Lakes were forming about 10,000 years ago.

Not that even a giant beaver was probably all that dangerous, but it probably could have given you one hell of a nip.
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Old 06-19-2006, 10:52 PM
tomndebb tomndebb is offline
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The Northern Water Snake Nerodia sipedon is known to hang out in the islands of Western Lake Erie. (They are not aggressive, but if provoked will strike and, while not venomous, they do have an anti-coagulant in their saliva.)

I have no idea whether there are any bays on Lake Michigan where they may have also gathered. I have generally only heard them associated with Lake Erie and smaller bodies of water (ponds and swamps).
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  #9  
Old 06-20-2006, 12:29 AM
Northern Piper Northern Piper is offline
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Well, there was The Creature that Ate Sheboygan ...
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  #10  
Old 06-20-2006, 12:31 AM
elfbabe elfbabe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan
I've lived on Lake Michigan all my life
Hence why I came in here to suggest the deadly Mercotan, a truly fearsome beastie equipped with mighty claws, a terrible xmex-like snout, and a zymolosely polydactile tongue. Even neutronium armor won't protect you for long. Fortunately, it's fairly docile unless provoked.

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  #11  
Old 06-20-2006, 07:10 AM
Polycarp Polycarp is offline
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Lake Ontario has both gar and dogfish -- the two surviving Holostean fish, lampreys, and leeches in the marshy areas of shoreline. None of these, however, are ordinarily any sort of dangerous to humans.
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  #12  
Old 06-20-2006, 09:36 AM
August West August West is offline
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When we go salmon fishing on Lake Michigan on my friends boat we often see enormous objects reflected on the sonar at depths of 250'+ which we joke about as being deadly sea creatures or possibly Chinese Communist submarines. In reality they are probably either schools of fish or just weird reflections, but you never know!
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Old 06-20-2006, 10:08 AM
zoid zoid is online now
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The Husband Hunting Beaver has been prowling Oak Street beach in Chicago for decades. They’re quite vicious.
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  #14  
Old 06-20-2006, 10:24 AM
wevets wevets is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmonious Discord
Elephant seals and other larger sea mamals may ocassionaly go a ways up the St. Lawerence. The falls of Niagra has kept and anamals from getting into the Great Lakes without help from man.
Which is quite a feat, because Northern Elephant Seals are only found in the North Pacific, between about 60oN and 20oN, and the Southern Elephant Seal is not found north of 30oS in the southern hemisphere! Any extinct Elephant Seals that might have inhabited the North Atlantic would have predated the canals that bypass Niagara Falls.

Maybe you mean Harbor Seals?
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  #15  
Old 06-20-2006, 12:20 PM
Enright3 Enright3 is offline
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I've heard 'Nessie' like to vacation there in the off season.
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  #16  
Old 06-20-2006, 03:14 PM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
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It was the Harbor Seal.
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  #17  
Old 06-20-2006, 03:34 PM
Cluricaun Cluricaun is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Humble Servant
Ignoring zebra mussels, e coli, asian carp and the like, are there, or have there ever been, any dangerous creatures lurking in Lake Michigan? I primarily mean creatures immediately dangerous to humans, such as sharks, jellyfish, hippos or (the bogie of my childhood) bloodsuckers? How far back in time for big lake bathing to involve such interesting possibilities?
Bolding mine.

Luckily there haven't been any reliable reports of the Asian carp in Lake Michigan as of yet. Hopefully our good govenor will see fit to release funding to finish the gate on the Illinois river, where they are flourishing.
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  #18  
Old 06-20-2006, 04:01 PM
Snickers Snickers is offline
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Is it too cold for walleye? They've got great big, sharp, nasty pointy teeth and could give you a hell of a bite, but I don't know whether they live there. It's probably too cold.
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  #19  
Old 06-20-2006, 04:03 PM
Snickers Snickers is offline
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Wait - I have my fish mixed up. Am I meaning the muskie instead? I probably am. Apologies.
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  #20  
Old 06-20-2006, 04:22 PM
Cluricaun Cluricaun is offline
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Originally Posted by Snickers
Is it too cold for walleye? They've got great big, sharp, nasty pointy teeth and could give you a hell of a bite, but I don't know whether they live there. It's probably too cold.
No such thing as too cold for wallys and their teeth are rather negligible, unless you happen to by fishing line. Well maybe arctic weather would be too cold, but walleyes thrive in places such as your own location and all through out central Candada, which if memory serves tends to get rather cold during parts of (most of) the year.

Muskellunge also prefer the same types of deeper colder water, but reports of them attacking people are mostly exaggerated. There are stories of children and dogs being bitten, but it's not usually a life threatening situation.

Neither of these are prevelent species in Lake Michigan.
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Old 06-20-2006, 04:30 PM
Polycarp Polycarp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enright3
I've heard 'Nessie' like to vacation there in the off season.
Nope. Lake monsters are not reported from the Great Lakes, although Lake Champlain, which is an outlier of the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence system, is reported to have once. Other North American lake monsters seem to be largely endemic to British Columbia, probably owing to the also-common-in-B.C. plants of the Cannabiaceae family. Lake monsters are often sighted in areas where those plants are common.
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  #22  
Old 06-20-2006, 05:31 PM
tomndebb tomndebb is offline
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Quote:
Lake monsters are not reported from the Great Lakes
Not true. While each of the lakes have had occasional odd "sightings" (probably spurred on by reports of the original Nessie), Lake Erie has had a number of similar reports of the "Lake Erie Monster" (that has rarely been given a cute name, although around Huron they talk about "South Bay Bessie"). There is nothing to it--Erie is far too shallow and throroughly fished to support anything from the department of cryptozoology--but the claims have been appearing for a while.
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  #23  
Old 06-20-2006, 06:31 PM
Polycarp Polycarp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomndebb
Not true. While each of the lakes have had occasional odd "sightings" (probably spurred on by reports of the original Nessie), Lake Erie has had a number of similar reports of the "Lake Erie Monster" (that has rarely been given a cute name, although around Huron they talk about "South Bay Bessie"). There is nothing to it--Erie is far too shallow and throroughly fished to support anything from the department of cryptozoology--but the claims have been appearing for a while.
Thanks for the correction, Tom. In one rescension my post had an AFAIK in it, but it seems to have dropped out in the final redraft. I wasn't aware of a "Lake Erie Monster."
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Old 06-20-2006, 07:13 PM
tomndebb tomndebb is offline
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The first sighting (of which I am aware) for a big serpent (or something) in Lake Erie was around 1817. Then there is a long hiatus until near the end of the nineteenth century, followed by another "absence" until the middle of the 20th century, after which, along with UFOs, grays, Champ, Nessie, Bigfoot, and similar critters, The Lake Erie Monster begins to show up more regularly. It certainly does not have the following of Nessie, and I doubt that it has as many believers as Champ, but we get a new story on it every couple of years.
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  #25  
Old 06-20-2006, 08:42 PM
gabriela gabriela is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elfbabe
Hence why I came in here to suggest the deadly Mercotan, a truly fearsome beastie equipped with mighty claws, a terrible xmex-like snout, and a zymolosely polydactile tongue. Even neutronium armor won't protect you for long. Fortunately, it's fairly docile unless provoked.

Won't someone say how funny this is?
Elfbabe, you shoot, you score!
Nothing but net!
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  #26  
Old 06-20-2006, 09:25 PM
Velma Velma is offline
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That's why I love Lake Michigan. All the benefits of the ocean, none of the creepy critters.
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  #27  
Old 06-20-2006, 09:58 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elfbabe
Hence why I came in here to suggest the deadly [b]Mercotan/b],............... it's fairly docile unless provoked.
<<rises up, looks about irritatedly, listens to the waves of Lake Michigan in the distance, sinks back beneath the surface of the hot tub, turns on the bubbles>>
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  #28  
Old 06-20-2006, 10:39 PM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
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Originally Posted by Cluricaun
Bolding mine.

Luckily there haven't been any reliable reports of the Asian carp in Lake Michigan as of yet. Hopefully our good govenor will see fit to release funding to finish the gate on the Illinois river, where they are flourishing.
I await it crossing at Portage into the Fox via the canal. They never cover all the routes and it will end up in the Great Lakes.
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  #29  
Old 06-21-2006, 07:12 AM
Cluricaun Cluricaun is offline
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Originally Posted by Harmonious Discord
I await it crossing at Portage into the Fox via the canal. They never cover all the routes and it will end up in the Great Lakes.
Sadly, I agree that it's nearly impossible to stop, but every effory helps. Asian carp are the reason we NEED giant nasty beasties in the lakes, because otherwise they have no natural predators.
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  #30  
Old 06-21-2006, 07:23 AM
Athena Athena is offline
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The stink alone is enough to kill you.
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  #31  
Old 06-21-2006, 10:25 AM
bup bup is offline
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Not a critter, but the occasional seiche can be deadly. Sure, not tsunami deadly, but still.
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Old 06-21-2006, 10:47 AM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bup
Not a critter, but the occasional seiche can be deadly. Sure, not tsunami deadly, but still.
How so? I've experienced (and played in) more than a few seiches on the Lake and I can't say I found them particularly deadly. Far more deadly is playing in the Lake when it's real rough, if you don't know what to expect and aren't a strong swimmer.
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Old 06-21-2006, 11:19 AM
slaphead slaphead is offline
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Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan
How so? I've experienced (and played in) more than a few seiches on the Lake and I can't say I found them particularly deadly. Far more deadly is playing in the Lake when it's real rough, if you don't know what to expect and aren't a strong swimmer.
Having no idea what a seiche is, I googled it, and apparently they have killed a few people.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia on Seiche
On Lake Michigan, eight fishermen were swept away and drowned when a 10-foot seiche hit the Chicago waterfront on June 26, 1954.
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  #34  
Old 06-21-2006, 11:31 AM
Subway Prophet Subway Prophet is offline
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Originally Posted by Polycarp
the two surviving Holostean fish
Er, what? Is this something I should be cautious around? Do I need some Holostean fish repellant? Do they bite? Does their power match that of the mighty ninja? Wikipedia tells me nothing!
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Old 06-21-2006, 01:18 PM
bup bup is offline
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Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan
How so? I've experienced (and played in) more than a few seiches on the Lake and I can't say I found them particularly deadly. Far more deadly is playing in the Lake when it's real rough, if you don't know what to expect and aren't a strong swimmer.
They can be deadly because they're so quiet and occur in good weather.
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  #36  
Old 06-21-2006, 02:08 PM
Polycarp Polycarp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Subway Prophet
Er, what? Is this something I should be cautious around? Do I need some Holostean fish repellant? Do they bite? Does their power match that of the mighty ninja? Wikipedia tells me nothing!
Hmmm...easy way to explain this? Well, by "fish" we can mean a lot of things, but we need to narrow it down. First, two living Classes of fish: the sharks, rays, and chimera on the one hand; all the other "bony" fish on the other. Focus on the latter. Now, two subclasses: lobefinned fish like the lungfishes and coelacanth, one the one hand; ray-finned "normal" fish on the other. Again, focus on the larger group.

Having gotten us down to the subclass of ray-finned bony fish, we note that they went through three main radiations. These are not clades or sometimes even closely related in their development, but it's convenient in discussing "normal fish" to examine their evolution in terms of those three main radiations. Both of the first two radiations largely died out when its various families were replaced in their econiches by more advanced forms from the third radiation, but both have "living fossil" survivors. The oldest, dating back to the Paleozoic, is the Chondostrean; the sturgeons and paddlefish, and the bichir and reedfish of Africa, are the surviving forms. The second group, dating from the Triassic, is the Holostean radiation, and its survivors are the dogfish and gars, both present in North American lakes and rivers. Both groups evolved dozens of families filling a wide variety of econiches, from catfish-like scavengers to something akin to angelfish. The third group, the Telosteans, underwent a radiation starting in the Cretaceous and includes virtually every form of modern fish not mentioned above.

And yes, the dogfish and the gars are survivors, animals selected to survive in a dog(fish)-eat-dog(fish) world. They are moderately large for freshwater fish, and have a nice dental array and the attitude to use it at need.
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  #37  
Old 06-21-2006, 09:33 PM
Cartooniverse Cartooniverse is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polycarp
Lake Ontario has both gar and dogfish -- the two surviving Holostean.
Quite true. Are they Registered Holosteans or Feral Holosteans ?

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