Animals That Live In Lakes And Why You Should Care

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The world’s lakes are a rich and diverse ecosystem, home to many different species of animals.

Lakes provide us with food, water, and recreation, and are an important part of the global ecosystem.

There are many different types of lakes, from large freshwater lakes to small brackish lakes. Each type of lake has its own unique ecosystem, with different types of animals living in and around it.

Here are animals that live in lakes and their importance to the eco-system.

1. American eel

american eel
American Eel

The American eel is an important predator in many freshwater ecosystems. It is native to the eastern United States, but has been introduced to other parts of the world, including Europe and Asia.

Diet:- The American eel feeds on a variety of fish, crustaceans, and worms.

Predators:- The American eel has few predators, but is sometimes eaten by large fish, such as sharks, and reptiles, such as crocodiles.

Reproduction:- The American eel is a sexually dimorphic species, meaning that the males and females look different. The males are smaller than the females and have a curved genital papilla. Females lay up to 4 million eggs per year.

2. Asian carp

Asian carp are a group of fish native to East Asia. They have been introduced to many parts of the world, including North America and Europe.

Diet:- Asian carp are omnivorous, meaning they feed on both plants and animals.

Reproduction:- Asian carp reproduce rapidly. A single female can lay up to a million eggs per year.

3. Bluegill

The bluegill is a freshwater fish native to North America. It is one of the most popular sportfish in the United States.

Diet:- The bluegill feeds on a variety of small aquatic insects, crustaceans, and fish.

Reproduction:- The bluegill is a sexually dimorphic species, meaning that the males and females look different. The males are larger than the females and have a dark blue coloration during the breeding season. Females can lay up to 100,000 eggs per year.

4. Brown trout

Trout are a group of freshwater fish found in the Northern Hemisphere.

The brown trout is a freshwater fish native to Europe and Asia. It has been introduced to many parts of the world, including North America, South America, and Australia.

Diet:- The brown trout feeds on a variety of small fish, insects, and crustaceans.

Reproduction:- The males have a dark brown coloration during the breeding season. Females can lay up to 4000 eggs per year.

5. Channel catfish

The channel catfish is a freshwater fish native to North America. It is one of the most popular sportfish in the United States.

Diet:- The channel catfish feeds on a variety of small fish, crustaceans, and insects.

Reproduction:- The males have a forked tail. Females can lay up to 2000 eggs per year.

6. Common carp

The common carp is a freshwater fish native to Europe and Asia. It has been introduced to many parts of the world, including North America, South America, and Australia.

Diet:- The common carp is an omnivorous fish, meaning it feeds on both plants and animals.

Reproduction:- Females can lay up to 50000 eggs per year.

7. Catfish

catfish
Catfish

Catfish are a group of freshwater fish native to Africa, Asia, and North America. They are named for their whisker-like barbels, which they use to smell and taste their food.

Diet:- Catfish are opportunistic feeders and will eat a variety of food items, including small fish, crustaceans, insects, and plants.

Reproduction:- The males have longer barbels than females. Females can lay up to 10000 eggs per year.

8. Cod

Cod are a group of saltwater fish found in the North Atlantic and North Pacific oceans. They are an important food fish and are also used in the production of cod liver oil.

Diet:- Cod feed on a variety of small fish, crustaceans, and squid.

Reproduction:- Females can lay up to 5 million eggs at a single spawning

9. Black And White Crappie

Crappie are a group of freshwater fish native to North America. They are popular sportfish and are often used as baitfish.

Diet:- Crappie feed on a variety of small fish, crustaceans, and insects.

Reproduction:- Black crappie female produces between 11,000 to 188,000 eggs, while white crappie females produce 2,900 to 91,700 eggs. The male crappie will guard the eggs, which hatch within 4 to 5 days. After the eggs hatch, males continue to guard them until they are ready to fend for themselves.

10. Salmon

Salmon are a group of saltwater fish found in the North Atlantic and North Pacific oceans. They are an important food fish and are also used in the production of salmon oil.

Diet:- Salmon feed on a variety of small fish, crustaceans, and insects.

Reproduction:- Salmon like most fish lay unfertilized eggs. The eggs are fertilized externally by the male. These eggs remain in the gravel and the embryos develop which then hatch in the spring. 

11. River otters

River otters are a type of aquatic mammal found in North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. They are members of the weasel family

Diet:- Otters feed on a variety of fish, crustaceans, and insects.

Reproduction:- Females can have up to six babies at a time. The young are born blind and deaf and are totally dependent on their mother for food and warmth. After about two months, the young otters are able to see and hear and begin to explore their surroundings.

12. Walleye

Walleye are a freshwater fish native to North America. They are popular as a sportfish and are also used as baitfish.

Diet:- Walleye feed on a variety of small fish, crustaceans, and insects.

Reproduction:- The males are larger than the females and have a dark coloration during the breeding season. Females can lay up to 20000 eggs per year.

13. Yellow perch

Yellow perch are a freshwater fish native to North America. They are popular as a sportfish and are also used as baitfish.

Diet:- Yellow perch feed on a variety of small fish, crustaceans, and insects.

Reproduction:- The males are larger than the females and have a dark coloration during the breeding season. Females can lay up to 20000 eggs per year.

14. Zebrafish

Zebrafish are a freshwater fish native to South Asia. They are popular as a aquarium fish and are also used in scientific research.

Diet:- Zebrafish feed on a variety of small fish, crustaceans, and insects.

Reproduction:- The males are larger than the females and have a dark coloration during the breeding season. Females can lay up to 20000 eggs per year.

15. Chub

Chub are a freshwater fish found in the Northern Hemisphere. They are an important food fish and are also popular as a sportfish.

Diet:- Chub feed on a variety of small fish, crustaceans, and insects.

Reproduction:- The males are larger than the females and have a dark coloration during the breeding season. Females can lay up to 40000 eggs per year.

16. Alligator Snapping Turtle

Alligator snapping turtles are a large freshwater aquatic turtle found in the southeastern United States.

Diet:- Alligator snapping turtles feed on a variety of small fish, crustaceans, and insects.

Reproduction:- The females lay up to 80 eggs in a nest that is dug in sand or mud. The young turtles hatch after about 90 days and are totally independent from the beginning. They usually reach sexual maturity at around 10 years old.

17. Alligators

Alligators are a large reptile found usually found in fresh water. They are an important part of the eco-system and help keep other animal populations in check.

American Alligators are a large reptile found in the southeastern United States.

Diet:- Alligators feed on a variety of small fish, crustaceans, and other animals.

Reproduction:- Alligators will lay up to 50 eggs in a nest. The young hatch after about 65 days and are totally independent from the beginning. They usually reach sexual maturity at around 10 years old.

18. Crocodiles

crocodile
Crocodile

Crocodiles are a large reptile found in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. There are 24 recognized species of extant crocodilians, divided into three Families: Crocodylidae, Alligatoridae and Gavialidae.

Diet:- Crocodiles are carnivores, meaning they feed mainly on animals. They feed on a variety of small fish, crustaceans, and other animals.

Reproduction:- Crocodiles will lay up to 50 eggs in a nest. The young hatch after about 90 days and are totally independent from the beginning. They usually reach sexual maturity at around 10 years old.

The largest of the crocodiles, the saltwater crocodile, is an apex predator and has a huge impact on the balance of life in its ecosystem. They are an important part of the food web, helping to control populations of prey species and thus shaping the diversity of life within their habitat. They also provide a unique habitat for many other species, providing shelter and protection to a wide variety of aquatic life. This makes them integral to the overall health of the lake they inhabit.

Named for its ability to survive in full salinity seawater, saltwater crocodiles typically live in brackish (low salinity) water near the coast.

The salt water crocodile has the ability to travel between rivers, lakes and the ocean, representing an important link between fresh and saltwater ecosystems.

The Nile crocodile is another large species that lives in lakes and rivers. Like the saltwater crocodile, it is an apex predator and helps to maintain the balance of life within its ecosystem.

19. Sharks

Sharks are a species of fish found in oceans throughout the world. While they are not usually associated with fresh water, there are some species of sharks that inhabit lakes and rivers, such as the bull shark.

Diet:- Sharks are carnivores and feed mainly on other fish and sea creatures.

Reproduction:- The Bull Shark is viviparous, giving birth to 1-13 young in each litter after a gestation of 10 to 11 months. The female gives birth in late spring and early summer in estuaries, river mouths and the young are born 55-85cm long2.

bull shark
Bull shark

20. Aquatic insects

Aquatic insects are important players in the lake’s ecosystem. These tiny creatures form the base of many food chains, providing a vital food source for fish and other animals. They are also efficient recyclers, helping to break down organic matter that would otherwise accumulate in the lake, causing it to become polluted.

Aquatic insects include water beetles, stoneflies, mayflies, caddisflies and dragonflies. These insects live in the water and feed on microorganisms, algae, and other small organisms.

Aquatic insects help keep the lake healthy by keeping the water clean and by providing food for fish and other animals. They are essential to a lake’s eco-system, and their presence is a sign of healthy aquatic life.

21. African Fish Eagle

The African Fish Eagle is a large bird of prey often seen around the waters of Africa, making its home near rivers, lakes and wetlands. It is a powerful predator and an important part of the aquatic ecosystem.

Diet:- African Fish Eagles feed mainly on fish, but they will also eat other small animals such as frogs, snakes and even small mammals.

Reproduction:- African Fish Eagles are monogamous and mate for life. They build large nests near the water and lay two to three eggs per clutch which they incubate together. The young eagles fledge at around three months of age and become independent within a year.

These lake-dwelling animals play an important role in the aquatic ecosystem, providing food for other species, helping to regulate water quality, and establishing a healthy balance between plant and animal life. By protecting these animals, we can help ensure that our lakes remain healthy and diverse.

Threats To Lakes

All around the world Lakes and large water bodies are under treat from global warming, pollution and invasive species. As the climate warms, lakes are expected to experience more evaporation and less precipitation, which will reduce their size.

Pollution from agriculture, industry, and urban areas are contaminating lakes with harmful chemicals and nutrients, which disrupt their ecosystems.

Invasive species are also a major threat to lakes. When non-native species are introduced into a new environment, they can often out-compete native species for food and habitat. This can lead to the decline of native populations, and even extinction.

Deforestation is also a major threat to lakes. When trees are cleared from an area, the soil is often left bare. This can lead to erosion, which can wash sediment and pollutants into lakes.

Deforestation can also cause changes in local climate, which can alter precipitation patterns and lead to droughts or floods. These changes can also cause stress on local plants and animals, which can in turn disrupt the ecosystem of a lake.

Gerald
Geraldhttps://news.safaritravelplus.com
I'm a freelance writer who writes on a variety of niches. I love exploring and when I'm not writing I love traveling and getting in touch with nature.

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