Evaluation of lampricide residues in mayflies during and after a TFM:1% niclosamide treatment as a risk assessment to the federally endangered pipng plover (Charadrius melodus)

Science Center Objects

The lampricides 3-Trifluoromethyl-4-nitrophenol (TFM) and 2’,5-dichloro-4’-nitrosalicylanilide (niclosamide) have been used successfully more than 30 years to kill sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) larvae in streams and rivers tributary to the Great Lakes. TFM is sold under the commercial name Lamprecid®, a formulation of the sodium salt of TFM which is approximately 35% active ingredient by weight. Niclosamide is sold under the commercial name Bayluscide and is available as a dry 70% wettable powder formulation and a liquid 20% emulsifiable concentrate formulation for stream treatments. Niclosamide is used in stream treatments as an additive to TFM to reduce the amount of TFM required for effective treatment. When used in combination, the TFM:niclosamide ratio ranges from 98:2 to 99.5:0.5 by weight (ACSCEQ 1985).

Concerns regarding the impact of lampricide treatments on nontarget fauna have been expressed by several federal, state, and private agencies that have a vested interest in the health of the Great Lakes ecosystem.  Of particular concern is the piping plover (Charadrius melodus), a migratory shorebird listed as endangered in 1985 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS; Federal Register 1985).  In addition to the endangered listing, the Service issued a critical habitat designation in 2001 for the Great Lakes breeding population of the piping plover (Federal Register 2001).

Piping plovers feed primarily on exposed beach substrates by pecking one centimeter or less below the surface (Cairns 1977, Whyte 1985). Their diet consists of invertebrates including insects, worms, crustaceans, and mollusks (Haig 1992).

In an effort to address concerns regarding the potential for chronic exposure to the lampricides, this study is being conducted cooperatively by the USFWS Marquette Biological Station and the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center (UMESC) to determine TFM and niclosamide concentrations in caged mayflies (Hexaginia lymbata) during and following a TFM:1% niclosamide treatment. The primary pathway of lampricide exposure for plovers would be through ingestion of lampricide laden invertebrates drifting during and immediately after treatments (Boogaard et al. 2012). Treatment managers have requested to use the TFM:1% niclosamide mixture to treat the middle portion of the Platte River in northwestern lower Michigan. To date, there is no data available on niclosamide residues in invertebrates or in water during sea lamprey control operations. This proposed work is a follow up of a study conducted to evaluate the risk of treatments with TFM alone to the plover (Boogaard et al. 2012)  


  1. Determine the concentrations of TFM and niclosamide residues in sediment, water, and mayfly larvae during treatment of the Manistique River, Schoolcraft County, Michigan
  2. Demonstrate the effect of time on the dissipation of TFM and niclosamide residues in sediment, water, and mayflies.
  3. Provide data on lampricide residues in sediment, water, and mayflies to support risk assessments to the piping plover and other non-target species of concern.
Mayfly - Hexagenia limbata
(Credit: Jennie Sauer, USGS, UMESC. Public domain.)



Associate Committee on Scientific Criteria for Environmental Quality.  1985.  TFM and Bayer 73: Lampricides in the Aquatic Environment.  National Research Council Canada, Ottawa, Canada.  NRCC No. 22488: ACSCEQ

Boogaard, M.A., T.D. Hubert, J.A. Bernardy, C.A. Kaye, and G.A. Baldwin.  2012.  Evaluation of 3-trifluoromethyl-4-nitrophenol (TFM) residues following a lampricide treatment as a risk assessment to the endangered piping plover, J Great Lakes Res 38(2):362-367.

Cairns, W.E.  1977.  Breeding biology and behavior of the piping plover (Charadrius melodus) in southern Nova Scotia.  Master of Science Thesis, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Federal Register. 1985. Endangered and threatened wildlife and plants; determination of endangered and threatened status for the Piping Plover; final rule. 50FR(238):50720-34.

Federal Register.  2001.  Final Determination of critical habitat for the Great Lakes breeding population of the piping plover.  66 FR(88):22938-69. 

Haig, S. M. 1992. Piping plover, in: A. Poole, P. Stettenheim, F. Gill (Eds), The birds of North America, No. 2, American Ornithologists' Union, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, pp. 1-18.

Whyte, A. J. 1985. Breeding ecology of the piping plover in central Saskatchewan. Masters of Science Thesis. University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada. 153 pp.