Program to Combat Seneca Lake Invasive Species to Help Fish, Fishermen

The Department of Environmental Conservation will be treating the water of Seneca Lake with lampricide, which is lethal to sea lamprey larva. Megan Zhang explains why this is a blessing for both fish and fishermen.

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. -- A program to combat an invasive species in Seneca Lake could make life easier for both fish and fishermen.

The Department of Environmental Conservation will be treating the water with lampricide, which is lethal to sea lamprey larva. Sea lampreys feed off the blood of salmon and trout, leaving unsightly scars on sport fish and often killing them.

"One adult lamprey can kill up to 40 pounds of fish in its lifetime," said Brad Hammers, an aquatic biologist with the DEC.

"It'll help mortality rates on the trout and salmon we're fishing for. They attack all the fish out here in the lake and scar them or kill them," said fishing guide Captain James Morgan.

Mortality rates of salmon and trout populations have gotten so high that some fishermen are having a hard time catching any fish at all.

"Sometimes a fish has got two or three of these lampreys on him," added Morgan.

The invasive species doesn't naturally exist in the Finger Lakes, but over the years, they've migrated from the ocean.

"They got here through the canal system that we built," explained Morgan.

Treatment will take place at Catherine Creek, the main tributary to Seneca Lake, beginning September 9.

 

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To control the population, the Department of Environmental Conservation will treat the main tributary of Seneca Lake with a lampricide called TFM.

It's been used to control them in the Great Lakes for decades, and in Seneca Lake every several years since 1982.

The DEC says fishing enthusiasts will see a noticeable increase in trout and salmon numbers after the treatment.

 

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"Huge amount of fishing effort out there, so we want to make sure that there's something for them to catch, and they're not all scarred and wounded."

 

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The lampricide is not hazardous to humans, but the DEC advises against drinking, swimming in, or fishing in the treatment zone during application.

In Watkins Glen, Megan Zhang, Time Warner Cable News.

 

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To control the population, the Department of Environmental Conservation will treat the main tributary of Seneca Lake with a lampricide called TFM.

It's been used to control them in the Great Lakes for decades, and in Seneca Lake every several years since 1982.

The DEC says fishing enthusiasts will see a noticeable increase in trout and salmon numbers after the treatment.

 

[[SOT]]

"Huge amount of fishing effort out there, so we want to make sure that there's something for them to catch, and they're not all scarred and wounded."

 

[[TRACK]]

The lampricide is not hazardous to humans, but the DEC advises against drinking, swimming in, or fishing in the treatment zone during application.

In Watkins Glen, Megan Zhang, Time Warner Cable News.

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