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Feds To Survey Detroit River for Invasive Lamprey

Posted at: 08/18/2013 8:35 AM

DETROIT (AP) — A team with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will estimate the abundance of sea lamprey in the Detroit River this month to determine what control measures might be needed.

The eel-like lamprey invaded the Great Lakes during the 1920s and has remained ever since. Lampreys attach to fish with a mouth resembling a suction cup. Their sharp teeth dig through a fish's scales and skin and feed on blood and body fluids.

The average lamprey will destroy up to 40 pounds of fish.

Crews have kept lamprey numbers under control by applying a specially designed poison to streams where they lay eggs. Their larvae remain there for several years before becoming adults and swimming to the lakes.

The assessment of the Detroit River is scheduled for Aug. 26-30.

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