Do shrimp hold the key to a clearer Lake Tahoe? Researchers plan to find out

Mysis Shrimp

In recent decades, Lake Tahoe has grown murkier and murkier, with people quick to blame obvious culprits: a rise in tourism and development, along with fluctuations in drought conditions and rainfall.

But an unlikely crustacean culprit may also play a role in the story of the lake's decreasing clarity, some researchers now believe, according to the annual State of the Lake report from the Tahoe Environmental Research Center at UC Davis.

Mysis shrimp were introduced to Lake Tahoe in the mid-20th century by what was then called the California Department of Fish and Game, with the hope they would provide a food source for the mid-sized fish that lake goers enjoyed catching on fishing trips, like the Tahoe angler.

"It was a deliberate introduction," said Professor Geoffrey Schladow, director of the Tahoe Environmental Research Center.

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