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Sea lamprey populations in Lake Huron – close to target levels

Submitted by on November 13, 2019 – 12:22 amNo Comment

The Great Lakes Fishery Commission Tuesday, reported that populations of the invasive, parasitic sea lamprey remain at near-historic lows, below targets, in Lakes Michigan and Ontario, and above target, but holding steady, in Lakes Huron, Superior and Erie.

Sea lamprey populations in Lake Huron are close to target levels and have been holding steady for the past five years.

The fishery commission said sea lampreys are the worst of the alien species to invade the Great Lakes. Before control, they destroyed many times the human fish catch. Today, sea lamprey control is the foundation of the $7 billion Great Lakes fishery.

Two tributaries to northern Lake Huron, the Mississagi and Garden rivers, have been a focus of the control program. The Mississagi was treated in 2019 and the Garden River will be treated in 2020. The fishery commission says the benefits of these treatments will be seen in the 2021 population numbers.

Sea lampreys are native to the Atlantic Ocean but have been an unwelcome nemesis in the Great Lakes since they invaded through man-made shipping canals in the early 20th century.