Monday, September 25, 2017

the last book I ever read (The Death and Life of the Great Lakes by Dan Egan, excerpt four)

from The Death and Life of the Great Lakes by Dan Egan:

On July 26, 1957, the Milwaukee Journal broke news that the “blind and desperate hunt” for the perfect lamprey poison had succeeded. The first application of it in the wild happened later that year under the cover of darkness, on a tiny creek near Cheboygan, Michigan, with “almost the secrecy of a nuclear project,” according to a local newspaper article at the time. Precise dosages of the chemical were pumped into the creek and in the following hours, just as Applegate’s crew of “lamprey chokers” had hoped, thousands of the night crawler-sized lamprey surfaced lifeless from the streambed, with no ill effects to any other fish in the area. Applegate described the scene that night as a “real purty sight.”

By midnight, the weary crews returned to Cheboygan for hot lunches. The lid of secrecy was lifted a bit—there were hints, knowing glances,” the newspaper reported. “The lamprey had had it.”

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