U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service personnel will apply lampricides to the Galien River system in southern Berrien County to kill sea lamprey larvae burrowed in the stream bottom.
The applications will be conducted Tuesday through Sept. 23. Officials are tentatively planning for Sept. 19, but since local weather or stream conditions near the time of treatment is a factor, people are advised to avoid the waterway during this period. Applications will be complete in about 48 hours. Extensive preparations are required for a safe and effective stream treatment. Prior to treatment, personnel collect data on stream water chemistry and discharge. In addition, they may conduct on-site toxicity tests with lampricides and stream flow studies with dyes that cause stream water to appear red or green.
Lampricides are carefully metered into the stream for approximately 12 hours, and continually analyzed at predetermined sites to assure that proper concentrations are maintained as the chemicals are carried downstream. Applicators are trained and are certified by Michigan regulatory agencies for aquatic applications of pesticides.
The program is contracted through the Great Lakes Fishery Commission to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The commission initiated chemical control of sea lampreys in 1958.