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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Great Lakes Lamprey on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno

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Great Lakes Fishery Commission
Click the image above to open the press release as a seperate document (includes photo).

Photo: Courtesy NBC Universal

For Immediate Release
 May 23, 2013 

Contact:  Marc Gaden


ANN ARBOR, MI—Sea lampreys, the Great Lakes’ most notorious noxious pest, invaded the Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Tuesday as part of a segment featuring Jeremy Wade, the star of Animal Planet’s hit show River Monsters.  Mr. Wade (left in photo), who appeared on the Tonight Show to talk about the large, strange, and sometimes dangerous fish he encounters, stuck a sea lamprey on Mr. Leno, giving the late-night host an idea of what a trout or salmon in the Great Lakes experiences. 

Officials with the Great Lakes Fishery Commission and the U.S. Geological Survey worked with NBC and Animal Planet producers and directors to highlight the destructive nature of sea lampreys and to stress the successful control program in the Great Lakes.

The sea lamprey segment is available on the Tonight Show’s Website at: 

Or on the Great Lakes Fishery Commission’s multimedia page at:   

Sea lampreys entered the Great Lakes in the early 20th century through shipping canals.  They attach to fish with a suction-cup mouth ringed with sharp teeth.  A file-like tongue rasps through a fish’s scales and skin and feeds on the fish’s blood and body fluids.  The average lamprey will destroy about 40 pounds of Great Lakes fish.  Being invasive to the Great Lakes, sea lampreys have no natural predators to keep them in check.  The Great Lakes Fishery Commission, in partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, manages the sea lamprey research and control programs.  Sea lamprey control is successful, with lamprey populations reduced by 90% from their historical abundance.  The control program protects the $7 billion Great Lakes fishery.

For more information about sea lampreys and the control program, visit the Great Lakes Fishery Commission at   For more information about the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, visit  For more information about River Monsters with Jeremy Wade, on Animal Planet, visit


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