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      Michigan to take ownership of lamprey barrier

      The state of Michigan is taking ownership of a new barrier on the Manistique River in the Upper Peninsula designed to block the path of parasitic sea lampreys.

      Deterioration of a century-old dam is giving the lampreys access to the river, where they spawn and launch invasions of Lake Michigan. Lampreys fasten themselves to fish and feed on their bodily fluids, sometimes killing the hosts.

      The Manistique River now produces more lampreys than any other Lake Michigan tributary.

      The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is constructing the barrier with funding from the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. Gov. Rick Snyder announced Monday the state will take ownership of the barrier and related structures.

      Officials say the project will save money by reducing the need for treating the river with lamprey poisons.