Study looks at the visual capabilities of deep water fish in Lake Superior
Posted on: April 12, 2017
The siscowet lake trout is only found in Lake Superior and is the main predator in the deepwater region of the lake. (Photo: Shawn Sitar/Michigan Department of Natural Resources)

Lake Superior as compared to the other Great Lakes consists of a relatively simple food web consisting of few major predators and prey fish. The interactions of the predator and prey community in the deep offshore regions of Lake Superior have been well studied except for the role that vision plays in these fish. To learn more about these predator and prey deepwater interactions the University of Minnesota Duluth Biology Department conducted a study on the Visual Sensitivity of Deepwater Fishes in Lake Superior that was published in PLOS, a multidisciplinary open access journal.

The study focused on three key fish that inhabit the deepwater environment of Lake Superior: the siscowet lake trout, deepwater sculpin, and kiyi.

It was found in this study that visual interactions are possible at the depths and times when this major predator and two prey fish overlap in the water column indicating that vision may play a far greater role at depth in freshwater lakes, such as Lake Superior, than had been previously documented.

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