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What is this part and what is it’s function

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this is on a 2011 VLX...

the part I’m inquiring about is the long slender metal hose that is between the raw water hose and the engine (opposite of the water circulation hose). 

seems like it might be a filter of some sort because when I was switching out the hose I noticed it was clogged up with a bunch of debris from the lake. I cleaned out the bottom the best I could but am wondering if I need to do more to clean it out completely or replace altogether. 

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A picture would help. 

Does it have oil lines coming out of the side, like a transmission oil cooler? 

Anything with debris in your raw water system should get a good cleaning. 

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