Slimy microorganism increasing in northern Michigan lakes

Mar 24, 2015

Holopedium glacialis is being increasingly found in upper Michigan waters.
Credit Courtesy - Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

Scientists are noting increased numbers of a zooplankton in some inland lakes that are just plain slimy. Holopedium glacialis is a mucus-coated microorganism that, in groups, makes a ball of slime something like clear tapioca pudding. The slime can clog water pipes and disrupt the food web.

Current State talks with Orlando Sarnelle, a limnologist and ecologist in MSU’s department of Fisheries and Wildlife, about Holopedium glacialis.

This segment is supported by Michigan State University's Knight Center for Environmental Journalism. More news about the Great Lakes environment can be found at and on Current State every Tuesday as part of our partnership.