The Conneaut Creek lamprey barrier subject of public meeting in Albion

Residents and stakeholders along Conneaut Creek are invited to a public meeting to learn about the possibility of a barrier being installed in the waterway in an attempt to control the invasive sea lamprey.

The meeting will be held May 24 from 6-8 p.m. in the Northwestern High School Cafeteria, 200 Harthan Way, Albion. Organizers said anyone wishing to attend should make a reservation by emailing ConneautCreekGLFER@usace.army.mil.

Attendees will hear about a study regarding a barrier that could prevent or significantly reduce the number of destructive sea lampreys from reaching nearly 50 river miles from Conneaut Creek, where they currently breed and mature before returning to Lake Erie, officials said.

Sea lampreys are invasive parasitic fish that feed on the body fluids of other fish, often killing the host fish. Originating in the Atlantic Ocean, they entered the Great Lakes through man-made shipping channels.

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The meeting is hosted by representatives from the US Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District; Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission; Great Lakes Fishery Commission; US Fish and Wildlife Service; Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection; Pennsylvania Sea Grant; and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, according to a news release.

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Conneaut Creek borders the townships of Springfield and Conneaut. According to a map from the Corps of Engineers Great Lakes Fishery & Ecosystem Restoration, the barrier is believed to be near Griffey Road, west of Highway 6N.

Learn more at lrd.usace.army.mil/Home/Great-Lakes-Fishery-Ecosystem-Restoration-Program.

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Jessica C. Bell