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Published October 24, 2011, 07:53 AM

Minnesota angler makes unique catch on Buffalo River

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) - They are few and far between, but every once in a while, a local angler will come across a spooky aquatic creature. And it's not what many of you'd expect to see lurking beneath the waters of Minnesota.

They are few and far between, but every once in a while, a local angler will come across a spooky aquatic creature. And it's not what many of you'd expect to see lurking beneath the waters of Minnesota.

When Paul DesChene went walleye fishing Saturday Morning, the last thing he expected to reel in was something that resembled a cross between a snake and an eel. But little did he know, this native creature has been swimming through our rivers and lakes for more than 10,000 years.

Paul DesChene – Reeled in Lamprey: “It was ugly, it wasn't very pretty. It has a very nasty mouth on it. I kept on thinking about throwing it back, but when I seen that mouth, I knew it wasn't very good for the fish.”

That nasty mouth belongs to the Chestnut Lamprey, a long eel like creature that feeds on other fish. DeChene caught the Lamprey here, on the Buffalo River, about a mile north of Glyndon. This parasite uses it's mouth filled with dozens of teeth to feed off it's prey.

Doug Kingsley – Minnesota DNR: “And then they have a rasping tongue that they use to create a sore and then they take some of the fluids from the fish.”

About 12 inches long, these lampreys are found in tributaries of both the Red and Mississippi Rivers. And as for whether or not we should be scared. The Minnesota DNR says there's nothing to worry about.

Doug Kingsley: “They don't attach themselves to people or other animals. It's strictly other fish species.”

DesChene has been showing off his unique aquatic catch, but this Lamprey's days are short and numbered.

Paul DesChene: “Well, I was told to make fertilizer out of him or just get rid of him, dispose of him, not to return him to the water.”

For more information on Lamprey's and other eerie creatures you might come across, we've created a link on our website, just go to WDAY.com and follow the easy link.

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