The feds want to know how many of these things are in the Detroit River

click to enlarge COURTESY PHOTO
Courtesy photo

The monster pictured above isn't an extra from the last Alien movie, but it is the thing of nightmares.

It's a sea lamprey — an eel-like, parasitic invasive species that has decimated local fish populations by boring into them with those creepy Saarlacc-like teeth. And ever since the Atlantic Ocean native species first infiltrated the Great Lakes in the early 20th century, Michigan's lakes and rivers are teeming with them.

Exactly how many of these squiggly little bloodsuckers are slithering around our waterways is hard to say, which is why the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is set to do an official assessment of the Detroit and Huron rivers in the coming weeks. From May 29 to June 7 crews will use a chemical to drive the lampreys out into the open where they can be counted. The results of the assessment will then be used to determine if the populations should be controlled with pesticides, the Detroit Free Press reports.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the lampricides "pose no unreasonable risk to the general population and environment when applied at concentrations necessary to control larval sea lampreys," but advises the public to minimize unnecessary exposure. Fishers who use stream water to confine bait fish are advised to use an alternate water source at this time.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

About The Author

Lee DeVito

Leyland "Lee" DeVito grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, where he read Metro Times religiously due to teenaged-induced boredom. He became a contributing writer for Metro Times in 2009, and Editor in Chief in 2016. In addition to writing, he also supplies occasional illustrations. His writing has been published...
Scroll to read more Metro Detroit News articles
Join the Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.


Join Detroit Metro Times Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.