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    Species: Battle to Thwart the Spread of the Sea Lamprey Continues

    Regional Conservation News  Staff of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Marquette and Ludington Biological Stations continue to wage war against this aquatic nuisance. Each year, 30 to 40 streams tributary to the Great Lakes are carefully treated with the lampricide TFM to control larval sea lampreys.

     Failure to eliminate larvae in streams allows the lampreys to transform into parasitic adults which then migrate into the Great Lakes and kill fish. Each parasitic adult lamprey can suck the life out of up to 40 pounds of Great Lakes trout and salmon during its brief 18-month parasitic life span. Treatment of waterways can effectively control population growth of lamprey. For example, in treating 23 Great Lakes streams in the summer of 2001, an estimated 7 million larval lamprey were destroyed. The Great Lakes Fishery Commission (Commission) began chemical control of sea lampreys in U.S. and Canadian tributaries of Lake Superior in 1958. Since that time the highly successful program has grown to include all the Great Lakes. This program is contracted by the Commission to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada. The Commission has implemented a research program to develop alternative control techniques including an increase the number of barriers on lamprey producing streams, research into improved barrier design, traps, attractants and repellants, biological controls and genetic engineering. The Service is also evaluating the release of sterile male sea lampreys as a control measure to reduce lamprey production in the St. Marys River. For more information, contact Dennis Lavis, Ludington Biological Station, 231-843-7302

    Posted on Wednesday, December 11 @ 14:16:15 UTC by admin

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