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First it was development runoff. Then it was algae triggered by global warming. Now UC Davis researchers have seized on a new explanation for the continued dinginess of Lake Tahoe’s blue waters — tiny invasive shrimp.

The researchers say that mysis shrimp, introduced in the 1960s to fatten trout, have proliferated to a point that they now pose a major threat to the lake’s clarity. To make Tahoe shrimp-free, the researchers are proposing to remove the crustaceans with trawlers and to mass market Omega-3 fatty acids extracted from the catch.

The novel approach could be self-funding, “climate-proof” and produce “levels of clarity in the lake not seen in decades,” according to Geoffrey Schladow, director of the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center.

“Lake Tahoe shrimp contain the purist Omega-3 on earth,” he said in an interview. “They’re filled with it, like little shrimp cocktails.”

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