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Sea lamprey mouth parts. Photo by Karla Bartelt/USFWS.

Sea lamprey mouth parts. Photo by Karla Bartelt/USFWS.

Smelling Our Way to Victory

There is a new tool in the battle to protect Great Lakes fisheries - perfume for fish! The Great Lakes Fishery Commission made the announcement on January 4, 2016 that U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials recently registered a new tool for battling sea lamprey, 3kPZS.

Like an alluring perfume, the male mating pheromone is used to lure females onto nesting sites. The scent triggers sea lampreys to swim upriver to reproduce in lake tributaries, where our fish biologists and technicians detect and remove these invasive, vampiric fish that are known to decimate native fish populations in the Great Lakes.

This is the first-ever vertebrate pheromone biopesticide for use against these invasive fish. In collaboration with university, private industry partners and other federal agencies, our Sea Lamprey Control Program staff have been assisting the Great Lakes Fishery Commission with pheromone research over the past year.

The EPA registration covers the synthesized male mating pheromone, as well as the mixture of synthesized pheromone and solvents. We hold the registration for 3kPZS and are the only entity licensed to apply this in the field, when deemed appropriate.

Learn more.

By Mara Koenig
Regional Office - External Affairs

Last updated: February 5, 2016