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The long road home to Ludington

Acting Regional Director Charlie Wooley breaking ground with partners. Photo by Monica Blaser/USFWS.

Acting Regional Director Charlie Wooley breaking ground with partners. Photo by Monica Blaser/USFWS.

By Monica Blaser
Regional Office - External Affairs

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has delivered sea lamprey control for more than 60 years as an agent of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. Sea lamprey control is a critical component to fisheries management in the Great Lakes and was an integral part in the recovery of lake trout. We at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and our conservation partners are actively focused on continuing this success for the next 60 years. We achieved an important benchmark on May 13, 2019 by marking the groundbreaking for the new home of Ludington Biological Station.

In 2020 the Ludington Biological Station will return to its namesake Ludington, Michigan. The Commission finalized the purchase of land within the First Street Business Park Site in Pere Marquette Charter Township surrounding Ludington in April 2019. The biological station being funded by the Commission will have the capacity to accommodate all facets of an integrated Sea Lamprey Control Program delivered by the Service. The site will include offices, conference rooms, onsite storage facility, maintenance shop and labs.

Since 2017, Ludington sea lamprey control has operated out of Manistee, Michigan. The administration of sea lamprey control is no light task. The program implements sea lamprey control using a combination of methods including lampricides, barriers, traps and pheromones. The program also supports research to enhance effectiveness of sea lamprey control and public outreach. No single site in Manistee has the capacity to house all of the programs functions which has complicated program execution.

“Not only does a project like this provide a new home for the fishery commission, but it also promotes growth and investment in our community which is very important and it allows us to retain a great organization [U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service] as well as its employees,” said Pere Marquette Charter Township Supervisor Paul Keson. “We are looking forward to many more years of working towards improving and protecting our Great Lakes and waterways.”

Prior to their move to Manistee, Ludington Biological Station had been operating out of the same location in Ludington since 1956. Ludington has witnessed the program grow, watched research in action, cheered the success of the program and became home to a tight knit family of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employees. How sweet it will be to return home.
Learn more about the Sea Lamprey Control Program.

Last updated: June 8, 2020