Maps show spread of aquatic invasive species over time

The Nature Conservancy has animated how six invasive species have spread across the Great Lakes over time. The group has created six maps that show population increase and spread since the appearance of each species in the Great Lakes basin and beyond. Sea lamprey, the first of the six invasive species to appear in the area, initially showed up in Lake Erie in 1921. The map shows the population of the fish expanding into the rest of the Great Lakes up until present day. Also included in the maps are Asian carp, zebra and quagga mussels, round goby, Eurasian Ruffe and black carp.

Invasive Species: Sea Lamprey

By Evan KreagerGreat Lakes Echo

The Nature Conservancy has named sea lampreys one of the five “usual suspects” invading the Great Lakes basin. These eel-looking parasites find a host and suck the life out of it. During the length of one life cycle, a sea lamprey can kill up to 40 pounds worth of fish and can grow up to 3 feet long. Sea lampreys are native to the Atlantic Ocean, Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.

New insight on old pesticide spells trouble for the Great Lakes’ invasive sea lamprey

By Jeff Gillies
Oct. 20, 2009

While Great Lakes officials beat back the voracious Asian carp at the gates of Lake Michigan, they still wrangle with another nasty fish that snuck in at least 90 years ago. Sea lampreys, eel-like parasitic fish native to the Atlantic Ocean, use a mouthful of teeth and a bony tongue to latch onto and scrape through fish flesh. Scientists debate whether the lamprey is native to Lake Ontario, where it was discovered in 1835. But it invaded Lake Erie by 1921 and the rest of the Great Lakes by 1946.