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Keeping It Simple: Easy Ways to Help Wildlife Along Roads

Fish-ladder "lips" protect trout from parasitic sea lamprey

Saltwater and freshwater sea lampreys look like eels, but unlike eels, they feed on large fish, attaching themselves to the fish with a sucking disk and sharp teeth. Under some conditions, only one of seven fish attacked will survive. That's why the New York State Department of Transportation welded steel "lips" or overhangs onto the top edges of five fish ladders on Spooner Creek near NYS Route 39 in Erie County. When migrating sea lampreys creep along the horizontal lips towards the fish ladders, they can't pull themselves up over the vertical ladders. The result? The sea lampreys are prevented from reaching upstream spawning grounds they share with Lake Erie steelhead trout.
 
--Apr 25, 2003

David Tackley, Jr., (716) 847-3811 or dtackley@dot.state.ny.us

Steel overhangs on Spooner Creek fish ladders
New York State Department of Transportat photo
Steel overhangs on Spooner Creek fish ladders

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On or Along Waterways - New York
Updated: 12/12/2012
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