2012-09-06 / Community

River scheduled for lampricide

Applications targeted to kill sea lampry

MANISTIQUE – Personnel from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will apply lampricides to the mainstream and minor tributaries of the Manistique River on or around Sept. 11-20. The applications are being made to kill sea lamprey larvae burrowed in the stream bottom and are expected to be completed in approximately six days.

According to USFWS, sea lamprey larvae live in certain Great Lakes tributaries and transform to parasitic adults that migrate to the Great Lakes and kill fish. Failure to kill the larvae in streams would result in significant damage to the Great Lakes fishery and infested tributaries must be treated every three to five years with lampricides to control sea lamprey populations, the department said.

The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency and Health Canada Pest Management Regulatory Agency have reviewed human health and environmental safety data for lampricides, and, in 2003, concluded that the lampricides (Lampricid and Bayluscide) pose no unreasonable risk to the general population and the environment when applied at concentrations necessary to control larval sea lampreys. However, as with any pesticide, the USFWS is advising the public to use discretion and minimize unnecessary exposure.

Lampricides are selectively toxic to sea lampreys, but a few fish, insect, and broadleaf plants are sensitive.

Persons confining bait fish or other organisms in stream water are advised to use an alternate water source because lampricides may cause mortality among aquatic organisms stressed by crowding and handling. Agricultural irrigation must be suspended for 24 hours, during and following treatment.

The USFWS explained that preparations are required for a safe and effective stream treatment. Prior to treatment, personnel collect data on stream water chemistry and discharge. In addition, they may conduct on-site toxicity tests with lampricides and stream flow studies with dyes that cause stream water to appear red or green.

The department said the lampricides are metered into the stream for approximately 12 hours, and continually analyzed at predetermined sites to assure that proper concentrations are maintained as the lampricides are carried downstream.

The program is contracted through the Great Lakes Fishery Commission to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The commission initiated chemical control of sea lampreys in 1958.

For additional information, call (800) 472-9212. TTY users may reach the Marquette or Ludington Biological Stations through the Michigan State Relay Service at (800) 649-3777.

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