UC Davis students propose turning invasive species into dog food

mysis shrimp in a glass jar
Lab sample size of mysis shrimp, an aquatic invasive species in Lake Tahoe.

By Miles Buergin for KNVR on November 26

"You may have heard commercials asking you if you 'really know what is in your dog's food'. Not to mention , do you know what types of meat are in the bits of kibble in each bite? These were the questions that graduate students at UC Davis's Graduate School for Management asked as part of their project to restore the Lake Tahoe ecosystem.

Six graduate students and members of the Tahoe Environmental Research Center have collaborated to create a product from an invasive species. Specifically, an aquatic invasive species known as Mysis Shrimp.

'This shrimp has been in the waters of Lake Tahoe for more than sixty years,' says Heath Segale, Education Program Development at the TERC. 'To explain it simply, this zooplankton is not native to Tahoe so it interferes with other zooplankton that help keep the water clear of algae. Mysis shrimp eats two other zooplankton known as Daphnia and Bosmina that keep the water clear.'

Segale says the students came up with different proposals for removing this species. One is to create a health supplement for humans to use to boost Omega3-Fatty Acids. The other is turning it into a type of dog, or fish, food that can be safe to consume."

Watch the full story at KRNV News 4

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