The Sea Lamprey is the most dangerous fish in Lake Michigan. It is also the most dangerous fish in the entire Great Lakes area. These lakes have been connected by a few transportation canals. But this also opened the doors to the Sea Lamprey to make its way across the lakes and start killing other species of fish.
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Why the Sea Lamprey is so dangerous
You might not think much about this fish species when you first see it. But it has a wide mouth which acts as a suction mechanism, essentially sucking the blood of other fish and killing them. This type of predatory fish attaches itself to other fish species. It then sucks out all of their blood until the prey is dead.
Is Sea Lamprey dangerous to humans?
If you’re planning to visit Lake Michigan, you shouldn’t fear this fish species. It typically swims away rather quickly when seeing humans inside the water, similarly to other fish species. However, there are places where you can even see it in captivity.
Should Sea Lamprey be exterminated?
Most people believe this fish species should be extracted and eventually exterminated so that other fish species can grow in Lake Michigan. But the fish we do have now in the lake is also a result of Sea Lamprey cohabitation. Many species of fish now know to avoid Sea Lamprey altogether.
The problem with the species is over-reproduction. This is why certain organizations fish female Sea Lamprey which can be responsible for as many as 80 small fishes per reproductive season. But you will not find these species easily even if they’re present in high numbers if you’re not a good fisherman.
Can you eat this dangerous fish?
You might be surprised, but Sea Lamprey is considered a delicatessen food in parts of the world. You can see it on restaurant menus in Spain and regions of Asia. However, most of those living around Lake Michigan don’t eat this fish as they have plenty of better and tastier options to try out.
Can Sea Lamprey bite?
The bit of the Sea Lamprey is not fatal to humans. But these fish have small teeth and in combination with their suction mouths, they can prove dangerous to various species. It even includes a larger fish. Most people confuse the species with eels, but it’s not the case.
Sea Lamprey pokes a hole in its attached fish with its tongue essentially killing it even before it gets the chance to escape. This is why Sea Lamprey is so dangerous.
But the fish species wasn’t seen in Lake Michigan before people start to industrialize the area. It is believed the fish migrated from the Atlantic to the areas of the Great Lakes about a decade after humans began to build transportation canals between these North American lakes. In a way, humans are responsible for the damage Sea Lamprey has caused, but no large-scale fishing for Sea Lamprey is underway at the moment in the area.