Sea Lamprey Fight Comes to Region - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

Sea Lamprey Fight Comes to Region

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Every 3 years, experts set up shop along several Lake Erie tributary streams to battle the invasive sea lamprey. It is an eel-like pest that can devour huge amounts of valuable fish.

Today the crews were working along the Grand River in Ashtabula County.

 They use a lampricide or special chemical that kills about 95% of the lamprey larvae in the river sediment. They constantly take  water samples. Properly applied and monitored, the lampricide does not harm humans or animals.

 Lampreys use their suction type mouths and sharp teeth to latch onto fish and kill them. In the 1940's and 1950's they decimated the Great Lakes fishery. So the experts say the control work is critically important to keep the population in check.

 Mike Fodale of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service said, "We estimate that each sea lamprey that survives to adulthood kills about 40 pounds of fish."

 When the crews wrap up their work in Ohio, they will head to Western Erie County to treat Conneaut, Raccoon and Crooked Creeks.

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