Lamprey on Smallmouth Bass Lake St. Clair
Very weird, I never heard or seen this before, but I caught a 4 pound smallmouth bass on the 4.5" Suissex Shad Spin Blade back in March at Lake St. Clair Metropark, and what you know, the bass had a lamprey near its tail. Pretty big one too, but it didn't look to be sea lamprey, just a native lamprey. As the sea lampreys are much bigger and have two dorsal fins.
Back in 2018 I decided to put my GoPro down in the bay of Black Creek, I spotted numerous lamprey on numerous carp. Without a doubt the lamprey seem to be thriving in Black Creek! I had notified the DNR and sent them the footage, but they said the underwater footage wasn't clear enough to tell if they were sea lamprey or not. They also told me the creek is already monitored for invasive species like sea lamprey, but it still makes me wonder if too many native lamprey in St. Clair could do harm to smallmouth bass or the ecosystem? I know fish biologists claim two native lamprey, chestnut and silver are parasitic in their adult state but rarely kill the host like sea lamprey, but define rarely when the lamprey population is booming?
"Chestnut and silver lamprey are parasitic in their adult stage and feed on body fluids and blood of fish. They can leave a deep wound in the fish that they feed on but rarely kill the host fish as the sea lamprey does."
I also read this not too long ago...
"Lake Erie doesn't have many hospitable places for lamprey to survive and thrive - which is why scientists were confused to see their numbers rise in the mid-2000s. After intensive treatments didn't work, Gaden said researchers began to suspect Lake St. Clair may be the offender, offering enough habitat for the lamprey to breed, as well as the conduit to a major source of food."