Lamprey

The sea lamprey is a parasitic invasive species that feeds on the fluids of fish.  Typically, lamprey are found feeding on cold water fish such as salmon, lake trout, and steelhead trout, however, they can also be found on cool and warm water fish such as northern pike, walleye, bass, and even perch.

Currently the most effective control method is by treating tributaries where lamprey spawn with a chemical lampricide, which is considered safe to humans and mammals. It is also thought that sedimentation (build up of sediment on river bottoms) in the rivers caused by stormwater and erosion create ideal spawning habitat for the parasitic lamprey.  Read more about lampricides here.

Lamprey wounds on Lake trout

Consequences

Lamprey caused significant damage to Lake Champlain's Atlantic salmon and lake trout populations for a number of years.  Since lamprey historically inhabitated larger bodies of water than Lake Champlain, the fisheries in these larger waterbodies can stay healthy with the presence of lamprey.  There has been recent success with lamprey control in Lake Champlain.  Many anglers are seeing larger salmon and lake trout and fewer lamprey wounds on fish.  Sign the lamprey petition here to help ensure lamprey control funding.