Fisheries, Midwest Region
Conserving America's Fisheries

Sea Lamprey Control
Sea Lamprey Control


Larval Population Assessment

Marquette Biological Station staff assesses the presence, distribution, abundance and size structure of larval sea lampreys in Great Lakes tributaries and lentic areas located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Larval sea lamprey populations are assessed in most streams with backpack electrofishers. A granular lampricide is used to assess larval populations in streams and lentic areas greater than 1.0 m in depth. Data are used to rank and prepare streams for lampricide treatment.

Sea Lamprey Control

Marquette Biological Station staff control larval sea lamprey populations by applying federally registered lampricides to infested streams and lentic areas in the Great Lakes. Prior to each treatment, water discharge and chemisty data are collected and used to determine the appropriate concentration and duration of lampricide to apply. Lampricide concentrations are closely monitored in each stream to ensure larval sea lamprey populations are destroyed and non-target species mortality is minimized.

Trapping and Netting

The Marquette Biological Station operates traps and nets in about 75 tributaries in the Great Lakes Basin during the spring and early summer to capture spawning-phase sea lampreys. A small proportion of trapped sea lampreys are marked and released as a method of estimating lake wide abundance.

Sea Lamprey Barriers

The Marquette Biological Station operates and maintains 27 existing sea lamprey barriers on U.S. tributaries of the Great Lakes Basin to block migrating sea lampreys. At times, we work with partners to construct structures in streams to provide control when other options are impossible, excessively expensive or ineffective.

Species of Concern

The Marquette Biological Station addresses environmental and non-target issues related to the implementation of the sea lamprey control program. This involves coordination with many federal, state, and tribal agencies. We review how an action will affect a species of concern and develop conservation measures that are designed to avoid and protect. When information is lacking, we conducts studies to determine the effect of an action on a species of concern.

Sea Lamprey Control Research

The Marquette Biological Station supports research designed to advance new methods of controlling sea lampreys, such as the use of attractants and repellents, the environmental and physiological determination of sea lamprey sensitivity to lampricides, and research designed to determine the origin of parasitic-phase sea lampreys.

Public Education

The Marquette Biological Station educates the public regarding the impact and management of aquatic invasive species.


Last updated: March 31, 2016