Great Lakes ‘Vampires’ to visit Erie’s Tall Ships Festival

Local News

A tank of live invasive sea lampreys, otherwise known as the Vampires of the Great Lakes, will visit Erie’s Tall Ships Festival.

Sea lampreys invaded the Great Lakes through shipping canals in the early 20th Century, quickly becoming the most destructive invasive species in the Great Lakes. Sea Lampreys have sharp teeth and a file-like tongue, and kill six out of seven fish they attack.

Before sea lamprey control began in the 1950’s, the invaders killed more than 100 million pounds of Great Lakes fish annually, five times the commercial catch in the upper Great Lakes.

Today, control has knocked back sea lamprey populations by 90 percent in most areas of the Great Lakes.

Those interested in getting an up close and personal view of the sea lampreys can visit Booth 7 at the Maritime Marketplace. The booth will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday during Erie’s Tall Ships Festival.

The sea lamprey booth is sponsored by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. Visitors to the booth can get information about sea lampreys, sea lamprey control, and other free materials for kids and adults.

You can visit Tall Ships Erie’s website for more information on the Tall Ships Festival.

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