Pepper-like specks turn out to be crustacean eggs

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A landowner along a northern Indiana lake has learned tiny black specks floating near his property are nothing to worry about.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources says Jack Sutton noticed the cloud of what looked like pepper earlier this month and assumed it was the start of an algae bloom in Yellow Creek Lake, located about 40 miles west of Fort Wayne.

Sutton took a water sample to DNR biologist Jed Pearson, but he was stumped, too, so he sent close-up digital photos to scientists at Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne and Grace College.

They told the men the specks were the eggs of a tiny crustacean called the water flea.

Small fish love water fleas. The DNR says they'd make good bait if you could get them on a hook.

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