Parasitic sea lampreys have a detrimental effect on fish within their ecosystem. Specifically, sea lampreys feed on salmon, lake trout, rainbow trout, whitefish, chubs, burbot, walleye, and some catfish. Fish populations as as well as those industries that depend on fish are declining. Sea lampreys have no known predators except humans. In the Great Lakes region, a small percentage of sea lampreys carried cestode parasites or roundworms during some portion of its life. Of these parasites, only roundworms caused severe damage to their lamprey hosts.
Ecosystem Impact: parasite
Species Used as Host:
- salmon Salmo salar
- lake trout Salvelinus namaycush
- rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss
- whitefish Coregonus huntsmani
- chubs Gila ditaenia
- burbot Lota iota
- walleye Sander vitreus
- catfish Siluriformes
- Dawson, H., M. Jones. 2006. Factors affecting recruitment dynamics of Great Lakes sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) populations. Journal of Great Lakes Research, 32/3: 353-360.
- Mandenjian, C., P. Cochran, R. Bergstedt. 2003. Seasonal patterns in growth, blood consumption, and effects on hosts by parasitic-phase sea lampreys in the Great Lakes: an individual-based model approach. Journal of Great Lakes Research, 29/1: 332-346.
- Mandenjian, C., T. Desorcie. 2010. Lake Trout population dynamics in the northern refuge of Lake Michigan: implications for future rehabilitation. North American Journal of Fisheries Management, 30/3: 629-641.
- McLain, A. 1952. Diseases and Parasites of the Sea Lamprey, Petromyzon Marinus, in the Lake Huron Basin. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, 81/1: 94-100.