• Wizard Island

    Crater Lake

    National Park Oregon

The food-web in Crater Lake

Figure showing the results of chemical tests on Crater Lake plants and animal showing the crayfish and newts eat similar foods.

Figure shows results of chemical tests on Crater Lake plants and animals indicating that crayfish and newts eat similar foods.

NPS

Researchers have studied the food web of Crater Lake using special chemical tests (stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen).

  • Kokanee salmon feed on animals found in the middle part of the lake,
  • Rainbow trout feed closer to shore,
  • Introduced crayfish eat similar foods as the Mazama Newt.

Why are these food-web studies important?

  • Food is scarce in Crater Lake,
  • Crayfish are aggressive, they chase and eat newts, and compete for limited food resources,
  • As a result, crayfish may have reduced newt distribution by 50%,
  • Crayfish could eliminate newts from Crater Lake.

Did You Know?

Did You Know?

Algaphogopsis, also known as the Crater Lake Mite, is a microscopic animal that lives in the waters of Crater Lake.