Re: Fresh Water Lamprey In Crawford County
A hatchery existed along Kettle Brook in Connecticut, in the mid 1950s. There was a cross exposure to the trout they had there and American Brook Lamprey were introduced to our streams. Now they are quite prevalent in our Midwestern streams. They are typically 3-10 inches long. They are considered non-parasitic lamprey. Brook lamprey are only found in clear, cold brooks and small streams. Their skin is leathery and smooth and without scales. Adults have a dark back, pale belly, yellowish fins and a dark blotch at the end of the tail. They have disc like mouths with teeth. The teeth are poorly developed. They are unable to attach to a fish. Male lamprey grow bigger than females.
They spawn in late spring near the end of April in Wisconsin Streams.The males with help from the females construct small nests by picking up pebbles with their mouths and moving them to shallow depressions. The sticky eggs are deposited in the nest and adhere to the sand and gravel. The embryos hatch in about three weeks. Young lamprey float downstream upon hatching and eventually burrow into the sand and silt where they live for 3-7 years. They feed on microscopic life and animal matter (protozoans, diatoms, algae, desmids, and pollen). Adult lamprey change colors just before they emerge from the silt and rocks. Adult brook lamprey cannot eat because they are not equipped with a functional small intestine and only live for four to six months.
I found a couple nests yesterday in a stream in Crawford County. There were four of them building nests. At first I bristled and thought seriously about stomping on them. I resisted the temptation and rightly so. I research them the last two days. They are not like their great lakes cousins. Killing anything no matter how ugly and not eating it is not what I believe in.
My next thought was where can I find something that looks like them because they have to be excellent table fare for big hungry browns. My search was rewarded with me finding some brownish green articulated leech flies that will fit the bill. I also found some soft plastic lures too. Going to give it a try soon on local streams.