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Nightcrawlers Ruining Northern Forests?

I came across an interesting article this morning focused on the damage that Nightcrawlers (presumably ‘Canadian Nightcrawlers’ – Lumbricus terrestris) are causing in northern forests of Wisconsin. The worms are not native to the area but have been introduced by fishermen.
Here is a blurb:

While night crawlers are native throughout much of lower Canada, their distribution throughout the tier of America’s northwoods is limited. Where they have been introduced by anglers, they have consumed the unique layer of decaying vegetation that is essential to the northwoods forest’s ability to renew itself, replacing it with their castings. Worm castings are wonderful for your home garden or lawn but are not a good medium for the regeneration of the northwoods forest.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has produced map overlays showing areas experiencing degradation of the indigent forests, and they mirror areas where fishing pressure is concentrated. Vast areas of native forests are disappearing throughout the northwoods – and well-meaning anglers are responsible.

Full Article: Wisconsin cracking down on ‘infected bait’

Moral of the story? Don’t dump your bait! (whether worms, minnows or anything else)

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Written by Bentley on April 4th, 2008 with no comments.
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