Are There Dangerous Fish In Lake Michigan?

The lake Michigan region is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places on the planet. In terms of attractions for tourists, you’ll find long, beautiful beaches, massive clouds that gather above the lake on occasion – making for some surreal photography opportunities – and vibrant towns that are just waiting for you to explore them.

When it comes to the lake itself, there are plenty of fish and other seafood to be found, making Lake Michigan a place worth crossing if you’re traveling by boat or diving into if you’re interested in seeing what’s beneath the water’s surface.

Diving, on the other hand, should be done with caution, as there are some dangerous creatures lurking in the depths of Lake Michigan. Some of the marine creatures that we are about to discuss in the following paragraphs may be unexpected, but we assure you that they are present and ready to be discovered if you look for them. However, you shouldn’t be alarmed because the likelihood of encountering one of the following fish is extremely low.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the most dangerous fish that inhabit Lake Michigan.


No, they are not a species of fish that is commonly found in Lake Michigan because doing so would make the area a potentially dangerous one – as well as unattractive. It has not been reported that any Piranha have been discovered in Lake Michigan so far. They do, however, tend to appear quite frequently in some of the smaller lakes in the Midwest region of the United States.

Also recently discovered in an Illinois lake was a Pacu, which is a species of fish that is closely related to the piranha – though it is larger than the latter.

Piranha are a type of fish that is commonly found in South America; therefore, there is only one way that they could have gotten into Lake Michigan, and that is through the hands of the hands men. Every one of the Piranhas and Pacus that are caught by fishers is believed to have been a pet at one point in their lives. The fact that they are kept at home in a tank has probably prompted some owners to allow them to return to their natural habitat – and thus bring them to Lake Michigan –

As a matter of fact, their numbers have reportedly increased over the past few years, making this an irresponsible statement. We can say that they are having a good time swimming in Lake Michigan and the surrounding lakes because cold water is their natural environment – a Pacu has been caught in Lake St. Clair, which is located near Port Huron.


Sea Lamprey

If you want, you can even bring your spinning rod with you; however, the chances of catching a Sea Lamprey are virtually non-existent. Let’s take a look at why. It is believed that they were originally an ocean-only fish, but that they have learned to live in fresh water.

The lakes of Michigan have experienced Sea Lamprey infestations since the 1950s, which is a result of this phenomenon. An Eel’s body is very similar to the body of this parasitic fish, which makes it a good candidate for comparison. But it’s their mouth that’s the most terrifying thing about them – it reminds us of the Kraken from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.

Their mouth is stuffed with teeth – yes, you read that correctly. From the outside of the mouth to the inside of the mouth, you can almost exclusively see teeth. Even though they are small in comparison to other living things, they are capable of causing significant harm to the creature to which they attach themselves.

This is accomplished successfully by the Sea Lamprey using its tongue to grind down the flesh of its prey in order to be able to feed on the blood of the prey. A Piranha, on the other hand, is not significantly more terrifying than this fish.

The saliva of the Sea Lamprey contains an anticoagulant that is capable of keeping a wound open for hours – in the best case scenario – or even for several weeks in the worst case scenario. However, this is largely dependent on its appetite. For as long as the Lamprey is attached to its prey, the wound will remain open, and it will only close when the Lamprey receives a substantial meal or when the host dies.


Snakeheads are a serious threat not only to the ecosystem of Lake Michigan, but they may also pose a threat to you. Despite this, they are one of the most interesting species of fish found anywhere on the planet!

First and foremost, you can leave your fish finder at home because there is a good chance that you will find this fish on land – and while walking. This type of fish, like the infamous Davy Jones – yet another Pirates of the Caribbean allusion – can only walk and breathe on land for seven days at a time. Due to the fact that Davy Jones was only able to remain on land for one day, we believe it is safe to conclude that the Snakehead has won this battle.

Despite the fact that it can grow up to three feet in length and have razor-sharp teeth, a Snakehead does not use them to their full potential.

They pose a threat to the ecosystem of the lakes in which they live because they will consume every single living thing that can be found in them, putting the ecosystem at risk. Everything! They will emerge from the depths, walk on land – with the assistance of their fins – and search for the next lake or body of water where they can continue their voracious feeding spree.

A bounty has been placed on their heads by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources because they are considered to be so dangerous to a lake’s ecosystem. Each dead Snakehead that was brought in once provided you with gift cards worth $200 each. Yes, they really are that bad for you!

To be sure, it isn’t even necessary to mention the fact that they have an extremely frightening head that closely resembles that of an actual snake – Snakehead, to be precise!


These were the types of dangerous fish that could be found – albeit infrequently – in or around Lake Michigan. There’s also the Bull Shark, though no confirmed reports of such a creature being caught in Lake Michigan have been made to date. A shark would just be a common sight among those two terrifying species of fish, even if it is possible given the presence of Sea Lampreys and Snakeheads already in the area.

As previously stated, it is highly unlikely that you will come across such creatures while traveling across Lake Michigan by car or boat. Before going diving, however, you should check the lake’s Riptide news and reports to make sure the water is safe.