They have been nicknamed “toothy horrors” and “river monsters”. Sea lampreys are an invasive species, predators of our Great Lakes Fisheries, and parasites to our fish. Their monstrous mouth lined with sharp teeth suction onto local fish and with their raspy tongue scrap away the scales to feed off of the host’s body fluids. They are equivalent to creatures found in science fiction novels, but they are the world’s oldest living vertebrates and they have been spotted in Bowmanville Creek. The Great Lakes Fishery Commission has been on the case since the invasion was discovered in the early 1900s. The opening of the canals opened the path for sea lampreys to infest the Great Lakes. Lampricide was invented in the 1950’s to control the invasion by killing larva lampreys before they metamorphosis into parasitic adults. But what if the lampricide was transforming the lampreys into mutants?
Part of the exhibition Projections at the Visual Arts Centre of Clarington curated by Todd Tremeer in Bowmanville, Ontario.