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Sea Lamprey

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Sea lamprey
Sea lamprey, adult - Photo by Lee Emery; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Scientific Name: 
Petromyzon marinus (Linnaeus, 1758) (ITIS)
Common Name: 
Sea Lamprey
Native To: 
Atlantic Ocean (NAS Database)
Date of U.S. Introduction: 
First discovered in Lake Ontario in 1835 (though whether or not it is native to Lake Ontario is disputed); first discovered in Lake Erie in 1921 (NAS Database)
Means of Introduction: 
Spread into the Great Lakes through the Welland Canal (NAS Database)
Impact: 
Preys on native species (NAS Database)
Current U.S. Distribution: 
Great Lakes

Spotlights

  • Great Lakes Fishery Commission.

    The Great Lakes Fishery Commission today 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. Abundances in Lakes Superior and Erie remain above target but have also decreased significantly since the near-record highs observed in 2017. Sea lampreys are the worst of the alien species to invade the Great Lakes. Before control, sea lampreys destroyed many times the human fish catch. Today, sea lamprey control is the foundation of the $7 billion Great Lakes fishery. The Commission and its partners are encouraged by the overall decrease in abundance of sea lampreys throughout the Great Lakes basin during 2019, but caution that environmental conditions, such as a prolonged spring and high precipitation events, contributed to the decrease.

  • Great Lakes Fishery Commission.

    The Great Lakes Fishery Commission is now soliciting pre-proposals and pilot project proposals for the 2021 funding cycle. The deadline is Tuesday, January 15, 2020 at 11:59 PM EST. Proposals are evaluated for relevance and scientific merit and against information needs identified by the Research Themes under which they are submitted. Proposals are encouraged to be cross-cutting and address multiple themes. See the theme conceptual diagram (PDF | 172 KB) for examples of how themes may intersect. See Applying for Funding for more information.

Distribution / Maps / Survey Status

Images

Videos

Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this species, organized by source. Or, to display all related content view all resources for Sea Lamprey.

Council or Task Force
Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force.
Partnership
IUCN. Species Survival Commission. Invasive Species Specialist Group.
Ontario's Invading Species Awareness Program (Canada).
Texas State University System. Texas Invasive Species Institute.
Federal Government
DOI. USGS. Wetland and Aquatic Research Center.
Provides distribution maps and collection information (State and County).
State and Local Government

Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

See also: Invasive Species for exotic animal and plant pests invading Indiana, causing economic and visual damage
New York Department of Environmental Conservation.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Division of Wildlife.
Academic
Columbia University. Center for Environmental Research and Conservation.
University of Wisconsin Sea Grant.
University of Minnesota. Minnesota Sea Grant.
Professional
Great Lakes Fishery Commission.

Citations