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Count Draculake; 'Vampire' lamprey fish on rise in UK.

Byline: STIAN ALEXANDER

SWIMMERS have been warned of a huge rise in numbers of the bloodsucking lamprey fish in our rivers.

The horrific fish, which have razorsharp teeth and grow to a metre long, have been known to attack humans.

The introduction of "fish passes" in weirs four years ago has enabled them to get upstream to spawn, leading to record numbers in the Great Ouse, Trent, Derwent and Wear.

The rise in the "vampire fish", which are permanently open-mouthed and kill other fish by latching on and sucking their blood, has been flagged up on open water swimming websites.

The Swimmer's Daily blog warned: "Return of the lamprey - ancient, ugly and swimming up Britain's rivers."

Open water swimmer Matt Clarke, 31, of Milton Keynes, Bucks, who regu-larly has a dip in the River Great Ouse "I'm not really worried, but I will be keeping an eye out for them."

In a 2013 episode of ITV show River Monsters, biologist Jeremy Wade was seen in a lake with a lamprey sucking blood from his neck.

He says: "The parallels with vampires are striking."

Mark Owen, of the Angling Trust, said: "The fact they're coming back indicates the water quality is improving."

news@mirror.co.uk

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 23, 2016
Words:210
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