I think many musky fishermen have come to the conclusion that we have a big lamprey problem in Lake St. Clair after always finding them on musky after you catch them. The question is, how many lamprey found on musky are one of the four native species versus the aggressive Sea Lamprey that is more prone to decimating fish populations?
And can some of these native species of lamprey even be somewhat destructive in large numbers such as the northern pike is to trout and other species out west. A few of locals are already worried about the pike population being out of control at Kent Lake, we go there and it's easy to catch 10 pike on a bad day, lol.
I think most of the time the lamprey on musky tend to be the native lamprey species, as I've heard the native are more prone to just falling off when you catch a musky, while sea lamprey will stay stuck on and you have to actually use your hands to remove them.
However, after reading this statement, I think we should have some concern.
Lake Erie has been above target since the mid-2000s. When I say above target, it was way above target," Gaden said. "The problem is, they are coming from outside Lake Erie.
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.
Last year I had dropped my GoPro 5 Black down in the bay of Black Creek at Metro Park to see what I could see down there, maybe spot a musky or two. Never did I expect to find a 3-4 lamprey stuck on some of these giant carp I saw roaming around like zombies, lol. And I must say, the lamprey did seem a big bigger than average size of the native lamprey wuch as the chestnut, silver, American brook, and northern brook lamprey on some big fat carp.
I did what any concerned fisherman would do, I sent the YouTube video to the DNR and they claimed they already have a team surveying Black Creek for sea lamprey. And that due to the quality of the video, it was too hard to tell what species of lamprey they were.
My inuition still thinks they were one of the native lamprey, but they were pretty darn big. And I've never seen so many on carp in such a small vicinity. I mean I have to admit, I just started dropping my GoPro down in the water just in the past year or so, so I don't know for sure, but we would always see carp surface in the Marinas, the Milk River in St. Clair Shores and elsewhere on the main lake in the boat and we never saw lamprey on the carp.
I still wonder if the abundance of the 4 native lamprey in St. Clair is getting out of hand and is possibly effecting the eco system in some sort of way. Musky fishermen are always catching musky with lamprey on them all the time, they tend to always be the small ones, most likely native, but I suspect too many lamprey can't be healthy for a lake. Just like how northern pike populations can get out of control in ponds, rivers, and lakes.
I've heard the DNR tends to look for the sea lamprey in the Detroit River, as they suspect that would be the best breading ground. But I also wonder about the St. Clair River, Clinton River, and even Black Creek?
I just landed this 41 inch musky at Metro Park the other day, righter after netting the fish we noticed a lamprey of good size lamprey that fell off soon as we set the musky down on the pier, but it definitely wasn't as big as the lamprey seen on the carp in Black Creek. It looked like a native species to me, but again, are too many lamprey bad for the musky, are they bad for the ecosystem, and overall health of the lake?