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Chemical come-on successfully lures lovesick lampreys to traps
Date:1/21/2009

th pheromones the most promising control method for implementation. So we're excited about the possibilities."

Currently, lampreys are controlled mainly by adding TFN, a compound that kills the larval stage, to freshwater streams where lampreys spawn. But there are environmental concerns about adding the chemical to streams, as well as the possibility that lampreys could develop resistance to TFN.

Sea lampreys, which resemble 18-inch eels, can live in both salt and fresh water and likely found their way into the Great Lakes via shipping channels. They have no natural predators in the Great Lakes. Parasitic lampreys attach themselves to other fish, such as salmon, trout and whitefish, and suck out the fish's body fluids. The lamprey's sucking disk and sharp teeth scar the host fish, killing many of them. Under some conditions, only one of seven fish attacked by a sea lamprey will survive.

A sea lamprey can kill 40 or more pounds of fish, and they've caused the extinction of three species of whitefish in the Great Lakes. The U.S. and Canadian governments together spend about $10 million to $15 million per year on lamprey control.

"It made sense for us to focus on the sea lamprey," Li said. "It's a poster animal for invasive species very destructive, very expensive to control effectively."


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Contact: Weiming Li
liweim@msu.edu
517-432-6705
Michigan State University
Source:Eurekalert  

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