Fisherman Finds Sea Creature With the ‘Weirdest’ Mouth Ever in New York

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Video fisherman catches strange creature

While fishing in the Hudson Valley, New York, on Sunday afternoon, fisherman Eric Osinskie came across a peculiar sight.

“It was by far the weirdest thing I have ever caught,” Osinskie told Newsweek. “It was probably 2 foot long or so, and its mouth looked like the Sarlacc pit from Star Wars.

“I actually caught it by mistake. I thought it was a stick at first,” Osinskie said of his catch.

Photos of fisherman Eric Osinskie holding the sea lamprey he caught in the Hudson Valley, New York. Osinskie told Newsweek that this was one of the weirdest things he had ever found while fishing. Eric Osinskie/Catskill Outdoors

The strange animal looked like a cross been an eel and a leach as it wriggled in Osinskie’s hands. “I knew what it was as soon as I picked it up out of my net,” he said. “It was cool. I’ve never seen one in person before.”

The creature was a sea lamprey, one of four such species found in the Lake Champlain Basin, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). The species is parasitic and feeds on other fish using its suction disk mouth and sharp teeth. Once it attaches itself to its victims, it punctures their skin and drains their body fluids.

It is unclear whether the species is native to Lake Champlain. They were first reported in the lake in 1929, but recent genetic studies have found evidence that the sea lamprey may have existed in the lake for over 10,000 years.

Regardless, the species has a severe impact on the fish and ecosystem of Lake Champlain, and a social and economic impact on the people who live there. As a result, the New York State DEC and neighboring services in Vermont have introduced an integrated control program to restrict, but not eliminate, populations of this sea lamprey.

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Osinskie shared the photos of the sea lamprey to the Facebook group Catskill Outdoors. “Went fishing for the fish that seem to always be right out of my grasp the catskill creek trout had 2 hooked lost one fumbling for my net and the other snapped my line but I did catch a new Species today have a look,” Osinskie said in the post.

The post has received hundreds of comments from concerned users. “Didn’t know you could catch a nightmare with a fishing rod,” wrote one.

Others commented on the sea lamprey’s devastating impact on the local ecosystem, with many telling Osinskie to kill it. “That’s a dang big lamprey squash it and throw it up on the bank for the wildlife to eat,” posted one user.

However, when Osinskie called the DEC, they told him that they came to the river to spawn every year. “I did not kill it,” Osinskie said. “After I unhooked it, I had my son take the pictures of it and I released it back into the water.”

For more unusual discoveries from the Hudson Valley, you can follow the Catskill Outdoors Facebook page or check out their YouTube channel.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>