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The Musky and the Lamprey

 

95 degrees, steamy, not the typical northern wisconsin summer day. Sitting in your own sweat, watching tv-just is not that much fun. A beautiful pool in the namekagon river becomes my destination of choice. A short drive, 200 yards thru the woods, felt great to step into the cool rushing water. A little wet wading , sneakers and bluejeans . A sweet memory of my youth.

The namekagon has a healthy population of beautiful muskies, plus some less than desireable, freshwater lampreys. Making long casts to a dead tree in the corner of the pool. I noticed a nice musky tracking towards me from left. "Ok" I will stand still and see what happens.

The very nice fat 42"er, swam up and buried it's nose in my left thigh. Wow, looking down at this beautiful fish. I noticed the 6" brook lamprey attached just behind the skull on the back. In addition, there were a multitude of little circular scars. Apparently, from other encounters with lampreys.

Looking at the musky, was thinking "let me catch you, I will remove the lamprey, take a few pictures and let you go." After a few minutes, the musky swam off. Wow!!!! That was great and I went back to fly casting

soon, I noticed some violent splashing in a shallow gravelly area. Shortly, the same musky swam up to me again. A crippled lamprey and a bright red circle where it had been attached were obvious. The musky came back to show me she knew how to remove lampreys and my assistance was not necessary. Saw that musky one more time that day. No lamprey, just a bright red circle. Think, she rolled over and ate the little vermin. Having watched these muskies for years, I also believe that one musky will eat a lamprey off of one of it's bretheren.

An extremely sensitive and smart fish, they can learn to do this to survive and be healthy in their element.

Pond Monster