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Cercopagis pengoi

THE CRIMES: Pushes out native zooplankton. Clogs up nets and fishing lines.

DESCRIPTION: A tiny, 1 cm long (0.39370079 in.) crustacean with a loop or hook on the end of its long spiny tail. This tail is 80% of its total length.

The Interrogation
Where are you from?
I am an alien. I came from the Caspian, Aral and Azov Seas in Europe to take over your lakes and rivers.
How did you get here?
I arrived by ship in ballast water. You first discovered me in 1998 in Lake Ontario. A year later, I took over Lake Michigan. In 2001, someone found me in Lake Erie. It will be just a matter of time until I invade all your precious water bodies and make them mine.
What’s your problem?
In my opinion, I’m not a problem. Just because I can cause problems for the multi-billion dollar fishing industry by clogging up nets and fishing lines, you humans think I need to be stopped. But you can’t stop us, we are like an army. We hook our tails together and take over the lake. Since just a few of us could populate an entire lake, soon all water bodies will be infested.
By eating and competing with native zooplankton, we push them out and dominate the bottom of the food chain. Scientists say that I’m not as nutritious as native zooplankton and small fish and baby fish (also called fry) can’t digest me very well. Too bad for them!  I am an appetizer for those pesky salmon; they don't seem to mind my fishhook tail.  Too bad for me!
How can we control you?
There is no way to control me! You can only hope to slow my spread by cleaning boats and fishing gear used in water that I infest. This removes the chance for me to populate a new water body.
Reward: The honor of protecting our water resources— A healthier environment and more opportunities to enjoy our natural areas.