US Fish and Wildlife Service to eliminate sea lampreys in the Grand River; to explain at open house – News-Herald

Sea lamprey control experts will eliminate harmful and invasive sea lampreys from the Grand River, below the Harpersfield Dam, beginning April 27.

A community open house to discuss treatment of the Grand River will be held from 5 to 7 p.m., April 20, at Painesville Township Park. Officials will be on hand to talk about sea lampreys and Grand River eradication efforts, according to a news release.

Sea lampreys are destroying native and desirable Great Lakes fish and harming the ecosystem and economy. Sea lamprey control treatments, which have taken place eight times on the Grand River since 1986, are carried out using a selective pesticide called lampricide, the statement said.

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service, under contract with the Binational Great Lakes Fishery Commission, will conduct the control measurements.

Sea lamprey monitoring will take place from April 27 to May 4 at various locations on the Grand River between Harpersfield Dam and Lake Erie. The exact dates depend on the weather.

Sea lamprey, native to the Atlantic Ocean and first seen in Lake Erie in 1921, feed on a wide variety of Lake Erie fish including lake trout, salmon, rainbow trout , smallmouth bass, walleye, yellow perch, whitefish, burbot and even sturgeon. In the lake, sea lampreys spend about 18 months feeding on the body fluids of fish using a large, sucker-like mouth filled with sharp, horn-like teeth surrounding a raspy, razor-sharp tongue. Each sea lamprey is capable of killing up to 40 pounds of fish.

Within decades of arriving in Lake Erie, sea lampreys had colonized all regions of the Great Lakes basin and caused significant economic losses. They have also contributed to a significant disruption of the ecosystem.

“Lake Erie’s fishery and ecosystem depend on sea lamprey control, and because of sea lamprey control, fisheries agencies have a valuable fishery to manage,” said GLFC Commissioner William Taylor. , of Michigan State University, in the statement “The Great Lakes Fishery Commission sets to target sea lamprey control at levels consistent with state and provincial fisheries management needs.

“The US Fish and Wildlife Service is conducting a very precise sea lamprey control operation to achieve these goals,” he continued. “Compliance with the goals protects a delicate balance of cooperation between state and provincial jurisdictions. If targets for sea lamprey are not met, the health and prosperity of the fishery are seriously compromised.

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