U.S. Fish and Wildlife personnel will apply lampricide — a selective pesticide for sea lamprey — into Crockery Creek in Crockery Township this month, said Jeff Slade, station supervisor at the federal agency's Ludington Biological Station. They hope to kill about 95 percent of the invasive species' population in the local creek, which runs north off the Grand River.
A local charter fishing boat captain, Alex Whitney of Whitney Charters, said he won't miss the lamprey.
“(They look) like a giant leech with a bunch of nasty-looking teeth on them,” he said.
The 15- to 17-person team will first collect preliminary information to determine how much of the liquid pesticide to pump into the creek. Once they calculate the information, the pesticide will be pumped in the water for about 12 hours.
As the pesticide works its way downstream, it dilutes so there will be numerous application points along the creek, giving it an extra boost.
Sea lamprey lay eggs in tributaries, and those eggs incubate in the gravel until they develop. They then make their way into the Great Lakes, where they feed on fish such as trout and salmon, Slade said.
The Great Lakes Fishery Commission is funding the $160,000 project, working with the Fisheries and Oceans Canada and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The non-toxic lampricide is applied in low concentrations, but Slade said they urge people to limit exposure to the creek and request irrigators to cease until they have finished applying it.
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