First, they lure the lamprey, then they stage the battle

Capital News Service
LANSING — It’s no secret that sea lamprey are one of the most costly and destructive invaders in the Great Lakes region – vicious bloodsuckers that ruin lake trout and whitefish fisheries across every Great Lake, shutting down fisheries in the mid-20th century and continuing to demolish native species today. But better understanding of the functions and behaviors of these animals has given researchers a new way to try to combat this invasion, including the first vertebrate biopesticide ever discovered. The Environmental Protection Agency registered 3kPZs, a lamprey pheromone, as a biopesticide in December, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. This is a lamprey’s love call. “A pheromone is a chemical cue for communication,” said Michael Wagner, associate professor in the Michigan State University Fisheries and Wildlife Department.

Sex and violence may control sea lamprey

Capital News Service
LANSING — For the first time, researchers have combined the smell of death with the lure of sex to better target a parasitic invader that has feasted on Great Lakes fish for decades. Their target is the sea lamprey, an invasive species that uses its toothy sucker-like mouth to feast on Great Lakes trout, salmon, sturgeon, walleye and whitefish. Before lamprey were managed, they cost the Great Lakes 110 million fish annually. The cost of control is about $20 million a year, saving about 100 million fish annually, said Marc Gaden of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, the agency responsible for managing the sea lamprey. Control today is primarily with a selective pesticide that’s dumped into rivers and streams to kill them.