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captjon

Lamprey in Lake Superior

15 posts in this topic

While working with Hard Times this weekend on the lake, we saw something neither Steve of I have never seen before and am wondering if anyone else has seen anything like this? About 2 miles out of the Duluth Entry we noticed a 6 or 7 pound Steelhead jumping frantically out of the water 20 feet off the port side of the boat as we ran out to the fishing spot. It had a lamprey attached to it. We surmised the fish we trying to shake it free by jumping out of the water.

It seems like more lamprey scarring has been up this year and that more juvenile lampreys are showing up on the fish. We suspect a population explosion may be occurring, has anyone else noticed an increase?

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Quote:

While working with Hard Times this weekend on the lake, we saw something neither Steve of I have never seen before and am wondering if anyone else has seen anything like this? About 2 miles out of the Duluth Entry we noticed a 6 or 7 pound Steelhead jumping frantically out of the water 20 feet off the port side of the boat as we ran out to the fishing spot. It had a lamprey attached to it. We surmised the fish we trying to shake it free by jumping out of the water.

It seems like more lamprey scarring has been up this year and that more juvenile lampreys are showing up on the fish. We suspect a population explosion may be occurring, has anyone else noticed an increase?


About 2 weeks ago we came off the big lake and a volunteer DNR guy was doing a survey and measuring our laker and we made some small talk and the subject of lampreys and lamprey control came up. He did say that they were on the increase but still under control

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saw a lamprey on steelhead up the shore last fall, the fish shook it off on a rock and it swam around the pool for a little bite until i grabed it, man there slippery.

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Jon, I met a guy at the boat show who knows allot about these things. His handle on here is hcrider, he may chime in. His brother works for the DNR.

Did you and Steve catch a bunch of fish? That guy sure knows how to catch them out there.

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Capt. Blaine,

Fishing was decent, we had 22 on Saturday(2 trips) and 16 on Sunday(2 trips). The Sunday weather being so unstable had the fish really messed up, the wind was from 2 different directions in the PM. We had 3 fish in about 30 minutes and then nothing for a while and then another wave of fish would bite. The flies starting showing up too.

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IMO, there are just too many eyes on the lake to have something like that happen again. Commercial, recreational, DNR....they're all looking for, scoring, and recording lamprey wounding. With the advent of TFM, I think you're more likely to see the exact opposite, lamprey populations going down. However, I don't think you'll ever completely get rid of it. It's an exotic species that you learn to live with. Although it's one exotic we've found some acceptable measures of control for.

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i was flipping through the channels last night and stopped at the ultimate match fishing on the outdoor channel. guy caught a large mouth with a lamprey on its head. sorry, couldnt tell you what lake they were on, but if i was going to guess, it was somewhere in new york that had a pathway to the st. lawrence.

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The DNR probably is watching the lamprey population "in general" but firsthand accounts from people who fish the lake is probably the best evidence of what's going on. The DNR of MN, WI, MI and other states all have "eyes" on it, but generally from afar. Very few of them are actually out on the water every day catching fish and making observations like you guys do.

I haven't been out enough this year to notice what you've mentioned.

I'd say you should get ahold of the DNR fisheries that is responsible for the Lake Superior Management Plan. I think Don Schreiner would be the guy you'd want to talk to. Let him know what you saw. If more anglers actually talked to the DNR Fisheries, it would probably be beneficial to our lakes.

HC

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I was fishing in the winter up at lake of the woods (rocky Pt.) and i guy next to us pull out a northern with one on it, or was it a eel, it left a mark like the laker's i get on the big lake... frown.gif

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I'm still pretty new to this big lake fishing stuff, but we had 6 lakers on Friday, and the biggest (29 incher) had a lamprey still attached. We took care of the bloodsucker. I guess I've seen a few lamprey scars but I'll try to pay more attention in the future.

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Shedhunter,

Good job getting the bloodsucker in the boat. According to the USGS, each lamprey can kill 40 pounds of lake trout during its lifespan.

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In that case, I'm going to refer to you as "The Lamprey!" Heck, maybe you're a whole school of lampreys.

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Sorry, Jon, just kidding!

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I think there used to be a charter out of Duluth with a boat called "The Lamprey." Not sure who that was, but he must've thought of himself as quite the fish killing machine.

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Denny Peterson ran a boat named The Lamprey, he chartered for many years out of Duluth/Superior. He is now retired and living in Texas.

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