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  Sea Lamprey
in the Great Lakes Region

What's New | Overview | General Resources | Related Resources
Current invaders:
Crustaceans: Rusty Crayfish | Spiny Water Flea
Fish: Goby (Round) | Goby (Tubenose) | Rudd | Ruffe | Sea Lamprey | White Perch
Mollusks: Quagga Mussel | Zebra Mussel
Plants: Curly-leaf Pondweed | Eurasian Watermilfoil | Phragmites (non-native) | Purple Loosestrife
Viruses: Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia Virus (VHSv)
Potential invaders:
Fish: Asian Carp

[Invasive species home page]

What's New
Erie County site of sea lamprey control
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (10/9)
As part of a broad Great Lakes program to reduce sea lamprey populations, lampricide will be applied to stretches of Pennsylvania’s Erie County’s Crooked Creek where the parasites spawn.

Baby sturgeon saved from lamprey poison in Manistee River
Mlive (10/4)
Michigan and tribal fishery managers say they were able to save the majority of juvenile lake sturgeon from the Manistee River prior to a sea lamprey chemical pesticide treatment in late August.

Scientists hope to track sea lampreys by their DNA
Michigan Public Radio (9/29)
Managers are always looking for new ways to control the sea lampreys and keep tabs on where they are in the Great Lakes system. Now, scientists are testing the idea of using environmental DNA – or eDNA – to track the blood suckers

New detection method could halt Great Lakes killer
Great Lakes Echo (9/15)
Investigators are using modern forensic science to hunt down a Great Lakes sea lamprey.

Manistee River fish kill part of ongoing sea lamprey battle
MLive (9/1)
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service began treating the Big Manistee River in Michigan with lampricide to help control sea lamprey.

Electric shocks control sea lampreys in Great Lakes, study suggests
CBC News (8/22)
Researchers with the Great Lakes Fishery Commission say electricity is an effective weapon in the fight against sea lamprey.

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Sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) are predaceous, eel-like fish native to the coastal regions of both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. They entered the Great Lakes through the Welland Canal about 1921. They contributed greatly to the decline of whitefish and lake trout in the Great Lakes. Since 1956, the governments of the United States and Canada, working jointly through the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, have implemented a successful sea lamprey control program.
This series of pictures shows a close-up of a lamprey's mouth, lampreys attached to a lake trout, and the damage resulting from a lamprey attack.
A lamprey mouthTwo lamprey on a living lake trout
Lamprey attached to troutDamage resulting from a lamprey attack

Photo Credit: 1 and 4: Great Lakes Sea Grant Network Exotic Species Graphics Library; 2: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 3: Great Lakes Fishery Commission. For more photos, see the Sea Lamprey Fishtank.
References: A Field Guide to Aquatic Exotic Plants and Animals, University of Minnesota Sea Grant Program

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General Resources
Lampricide Reduction: A High Priority in the Sea Lamprey Battle
(PDF - page 4)

From Ohio Sea Grant's Twine Line
The Great Lakes Fishery Commission and its agents decided several years ago to reduce lampricide use by 50 percent by the year 2001, for three main reasons: commitment to healthy ecosystems, economics, and the need to integrate the pest management program. The commission is more than half way to reaching this reduction goal.

Petromyzon marinus
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Nonindigenous occurrences, means of introduction, and impact of the Sea Lamprey.

Sea Lamprey
University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute
This fact sheet gives a brief description of the sea lamprey.

Sea Lamprey (Petromyzon marinus)
Sea Grant Nonindigenous Species Site (SGNIS)
Includes scientifically reviewed articles as well as images from Sea Grant researchers.

Sea Lamprey Control Program
Great Lakes Fishery Commission
The GLFC's program of integrated sea lamprey management includes lampricide control, construction of barriers in streams to deny sea lampreys' entry, and an experimental program to reduce spawning success by releasing sterilized-male sea lampreys. The program has successfully allowed the re-emergence of the largest freshwater fishery in the world.

Sea Lamprey Factsheet
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Great Lakes Science Center
Outlines the impacts of Sea Lamprey populations in the Great Lakes, research and treatments to protect native fish populations.

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Related Resources
GLIN: Agencies and Organizations, Fauna
GLIN: Fish and Fisheries in the Great Lakes Region

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Updated: December 13, 2017
Selected Photos: Copyright ©John and Ann Mahan
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