sea lamprey


Definition of sea lamprey

: a large anadromous lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) that has a mottled upper surface, is an ectoparasite of fish, and is sometimes used as food

Examples of sea lamprey in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department says that sea lamprey are native to the state's freshwater ecosystem and keep the food chain in balance. Scottie Andrew, CNN, "The Good Stuff: An octogenarian stays connected, a diabetic pilot returns to the skies and a baby emu wobbles," 27 June 2020 However, a non-native species of sea lamprey is considered an invasive species in Lake Champlain on the state's western border, the post said. Alec Snyder, CNN, "A 'vampire fish' is spawning in Vermont's waters. Experts say most of them are nothing to worry about," 25 June 2020 In the 1960s, sea lamprey devastated the lake trout, lake whitefish and cisco fisheries in the Great Lakes, taking the yearly catch from 15 million pounds down to 300,000 pounds in about a 20-year span. Joe Genzel, Outdoor Life, "10 Common Parasites and Diseases Found in Game Fish (and What You Need to Know About Them)," 27 May 2020 Today, because of ongoing control, sea lampreys kill less than 10 million pounds annually. John Myers, Twin Cities, "Parasitic sea lamprey numbers remain too high in Lake Superior," 13 Nov. 2019 About 90% of his perch comes from Canadian fishers using Lake Erie, and that supply is down dramatically, likely because of overfishing, pollution and invasion of the sea lamprey and other foreign species. Patti Zarling,, "Great Lakes perch shortage leaves Wisconsin restaurants scrambling," 21 Oct. 2019 Since the lake trout, the lake's native top predator, was decimated in the early to mid 20th century by invasive sea lampreys and other non-native fish such as the alewife flooded in, Lake Michigan has been significantly altered. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The DNR has proposed increases in chinook stocking, and there's still time to weigh in," 14 Sep. 2019 The average sea lamprey kills up to 40 pounds of fish during its adult, parasitic stage. John Myers, Twin Cities, "Parasitic sea lamprey numbers remain too high in Lake Superior," 13 Nov. 2019 Predator fish populations in the Great Lakes had been devastated by a variety of factors, including commercial overfishing, industrial pollution and invasive sea lampreys. Michigan Wildlife Council, Detroit Free Press, "The story of Michigan salmon: Restoring balance to the Great Lakes," 9 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sea lamprey.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of sea lamprey

1879, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of sea lamprey was in 1879

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Last Updated

19 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sea lamprey.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 2020.

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