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> Michigan City based meeting to be held to control Sea Lamprey
post Apr 7 2011, 08:08 AM
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MICHIGAN CITY | An informational meeting is scheduled in Michigan City next week on a plan to control sea lamprey without adding chemicals to the water.

The purpose of the meeting is to educate residents about the construction and operation of a barrier wall to go up in Trail Creek, said Brian Breidert, a Lake Michigan fisheries biologist with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

"We just want to be able to share the information," Breidert said.

DNR and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are among the agencies holding the meeting at 7 p.m. April 14 at City Hall in Michigan City.

For years, Breidert said chemicals have been released in Trail Creek to control the numbers of sea lamprey -- a type of parasite which preys upon popular Lake Michigan game fish like perch, trout and salmon.

The barrier will be a 4-foot tall dam stretching across Trail Creek to keep sea lamprey from spawning.

Every spring, the sea lamprey migrate into Trail Creek then swim to a rocky area at Springland Avenue to spawn.

The barrier will stop them from reaching their spawning area, meaning there will be no offspring produced by their migration, Breidert said. Breidert said sea lamprey don't jump so they won't be able to make it over the dam.

The barrier will be designed, though, to allow game fish like trout and salmon to jump over the barrier to reach their spawning areas.

Breidert said sea lamprey found their way into the Great Lakes in the 1940s.

The blood suckers attach themselves to fish eventually killing them by draining their body fluids.

He said 30,000 to 40,000 sea lamprey are produced in Trail Creek every three to five years.

No contracts have been awarded yet for the construction projected to cost about $300,000. Federal funds received by the Army Corps of Engineers from the Great Lakes Fisheries Commission are paying for the project, Breidert said.

The barrier is expected to start going up late spring or early summer. Work should take about two months, he said.

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