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A renewed philosophy about supplemental sea lamprey controls

May 11, 2021

Invasive sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) populations in the Laurentian Great Lakes have been reduced by up to 90% through the use of selective pesticides (lampricides) and physical sea lamprey barriers that block spawning migrations. Nevertheless, other control methods are needed to achieve integrated pest management objectives, delay biological resistance, and address societal pressure to reduce pesticide use and restore lotic connectivity through dam removals. Despite decades of research and scientific advances, new control tools that focus on controlling adult and juvenile life stages have been rare because tactics have not been cost-effective alternatives to lampricides and sea lamprey barriers. Here, we propose a renewed philosophy highlighting that new control methods need not be true alternatives to lampricides and sea lamprey barriers (i.e., have similar effectiveness), but instead can be useful as supplemental controls integrated with current methods, especially in places where current methods are less effective due to environmental or societal conditions. Current case studies pairing multiple supplemental controls together on two Lake Huron tributaries, the Black Mallard and Cheboygan Rivers, have shown promise in reducing sea lamprey reproductive success, the scope of lampricide treatments, and ultimately the number of juvenile sea lampreys produced. Additional case studies are planned and will be evaluated within a decade-long adaptive assessment plan.

Publication Year 2021
Title A renewed philosophy about supplemental sea lamprey controls
DOI 10.1016/j.jglr.2021.03.013
Authors Michael J. Siefkes, Nicholas S. Johnson, Andrew M. Muir
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Great Lakes Research
Index ID 70223093
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Great Lakes Science Center