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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
Invasive fish predator leaving mark on Georgian Bay habitat
CTV - Barrie, ON (8/25)
In Ontario, anglers taking part in this year’s Salmon Spectacular in the Georgian Bay are not only finding a lot of fish, but also a dangerous fish predator called the sea lamprey.

Lamprey steal show at derby
Owen Sound Sun Times (8/24)
During the second day of the 27th annual Owen Sound Salmon Spectacular, in Owen Sound, Ontario crowds gathered around a tank of live sea lamprey brought to the derby this year by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission.

Controlling sea lamprey is vital task
The Buffalo News (8/23)
Two U.S. Fish & Wildlife fisheries staffers visited Western New York waterways and did some extensive surveys of stream waters, searching for ammocetes, the early-stage larvae of sea lamprey, a dreaded aquatic invader.

Sea lamprey search comes to Conneaut
The Star Beacon (8/8)
Experts with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be in Conneaut, Ohio this month to gauge its sea lamprey population.

Sea lamprey survey planned for Muskegon River in Muskegon County
MLive (7/23)
A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service assessment crew will survey the Muskegon River in Muskegon County, Mich., this summer to determine how many sea lampreys are in the river.

The sea lamprey: Vampire of the Great Lakes
Northland's News Center (7/11)
Lurking in the waters of the Great Lakes is a parasite that forever changed the native ecosystem. The saw-toothed suckers were introduced into the Great Lakes over a century ago.

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Overview
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: November 28, 2014
Maintained by: Christine Manninen, manninen@glc.org
Selected Photos: Copyright ©John and Ann Mahan
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