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Lamprey Control Program

lampreyThe Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, working cooperatively with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service is actively working to restore and enhance important fisheries in Lake Champlain.

Sea lamprey control is a vital component of these efforts. The sea lamprey's aggressive, parasitic behavior allows it to attack and often kill fish by draining body fluids through a suction cup-shaped mouth filled with rasp-like teeth. Many species of fish, including lake trout, landlocked Atlantic salmon, walleye and the endangered lake sturgeon are affected. Sea lamprey infestation has decimated fisheries throughout the Great Lakes, the Finger Lakes in New York and Lake Champlain.

There are currently 20 lake Champlain tributaries where sea lampreys are known to reproduce. Nine of these streams are in Vermont. Biologists are using use a variety of methods to control sea lamprey, including trapping adults in smaller spawning streams, construction and maintenance of barriers on certain streams to prevent sea lampreys from reaching spawning areas, and periodic use of chemical lampricides to kill young sea lamprey in some larger streams and rivers. Research is continuing to develop new non-chemical control methods to reduce our reliance on the use of lampricides in the future.

Go to the following links for more information on sea lamprey control.

Strategic Plan for Lake Champlain Fisheries

Lake Champlain Sea Lamprey Control page - http://www.ChamplainLamprey.org
Important Web Sites for further information:

Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for Lake Champlain Sea Lamprey Control Program: http://www.fws.gov/r5lcfwro/lamprey_reports.htm

Great Lakes Fisheries Commission: http://www.glfc.org/

US Fish and Wildlife Service Great Lakes Sea Lamprey Management Program: http://midwest.fws.gov/Marquette/


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