Canada called out for not pulling weight in Sea Lamprey eradication effort

Originally seen in Fish’n Canada’s Week in Review

Our first story of the week takes us to Michigan where Canada is being called out for its shrinking role in the Sea Lamprey eradication program.

According to Points North, a weekly show from Michigan dedicated to the state’s Great Lakes region, Canada has not been living up to the spending agreement laid out in the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. This treaty, signed back in 1955, established a set amount that each country would contribute in order to successfully fund the eradication efforts, 69% of it being covered by the United States and 31% being covered by Canada.

This year, however, Canada is currently contributing less than half of what it once agreed to, providing just $7.9 million out of the $16 million that was owed.

As mentioned in a previous article, Lamprey were once exclusively an American issue, entering Michigan’s Finger Lakes in the late-1800s and remaining south of the border as long as Niagara Falls could hold them back. Since the construction of the Welland Canal in the early 1900s, however, these pests no longer recognize the border and can now be found from St. Thomas to Salut Ste. Marie.

Thankfully, the issue is now much more under control in many of the areas where the invasion has occurred thanks to a combination of barriers and “lampricides” that have reduced numbers down to manageable levels. But US biologists are warning Canada not to get too comfortable just yet.

As of right now, Lake Erie, Lake Huron, and Lake Superior have more lamprey than the commission’s initial target. Furthermore, Canada has now been reducing their funding for the project for the last 15 years, relying on the US for 100% of its “lampricide”.

According to US officials, Canada’s prioritizing of this project and their fulfillment of the $16 million would be enough to go on the offensive in the fight against invasive lamprey, and no longer have to rely solely on the reactionary defensive measures we have been focused on for the last 100 years.

What do you think Canada should do? Let us know in the comments below!

This excerpt was taken from Fish’n Canada’s Week in Review, our weekly recap of all things relevant to the Canadian outdoorsman. For more stories like this, check out the full article below and tune back in every Friday to catch up on everything you missed!

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