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Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center

Aquatic Invasive Species Control

Determination of TFM Residues in Sediment and Water Following a Lampricide Treatment

Principal Investigator: Terry Hubert

Impact of UMESC Science

The results of this research may lead to a more efficient use of the lampricides used to control lamprey populations in the Great Lakes. If lamprey populations are left uncontrolled, the effects on commercial and sport fisheries in the Great Lakes would be devastating.


3-Trifluoromethyl-4-nitrophenol (TFM) and niclosamide halogenated phenolic compounds that have been used successfully more than 40 years to kill sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) larvae in streams and rivers tributary to the Great Lakes. The mode of action of the lampricides has not been completely delineated, but the selective toxicity of the compounds apparently results from the larvae’s inability to adequately conjugate and eliminate them (see, for example, Lech and Statham, 1975).  TFM is sold under the commercial name Lamprecid7, a formulation of the sodium salt of TFM which is approximately 35% active ingredient by weight. Niclosamide is sold under the commercial name Bayluscide, and is available in wettable powder, liquid, and granular formulations. The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) holds the label registration for the lampricides in the United States and Canada. In most applications only TFM is applied to control sea lampreys. Occasionally a combination of TFM and niclosamide is applied to reduce the amount of TFM required for treatment. This is a cost-effective measure in instances where large quantities of TFM normally would be required, such as the treatment of streams or rivers with high discharge. When used in combination, the TFM:niclosamide application ratios range from 98:2 to 99.5:0.5 (Associate Committee on Scientific Criteria for Environmental Quality, 1985), but concentrations of niclosamide are limited to 50 ug/L to protect nontarget species.

In an effort to address concerns regarding the potential for chronic exposure to TFM and niclosamide, this study is being conducted cooperatively by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Marquette Biological Station and the Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center (UMESC) to determine TFM concentrations in water and sediment following a sea lamprey control treatment of a tributary in Lake Superior and Lake Huron. Samples of water and sediment will be collected from the mouth, and littoral zone near the mouth of the Carp River and the Fish Creek. These rivers were chosen because they have moderate to high organic content in their sediments at the mouth. It is desirable for this study to include one river with sediment that has a high organic content and another river with sediment that has a moderate organic content to understand how differences in organic content affect dissipation of TFM.  A river with a sand bottom was examined by Hubert and Johnson (1997) and this work is an extension of that previous study.


  1. Determine the concentration of TFM in samples of water and sediment collected from the mouth and from the littoral zone near the mouth of the Carp River and Fish Creek.
  2. Demonstrate the effect of time on TFM concentrations in water and sediment at the mouth and in the littoral zone near the mouth of a stream treated with lampricide.


Associate Committee on Scientific Criteria for Environmental Quality. 1985.  TFM and Bayer 73:  Lampricides in the Aquatic Environment. National Research Council Canada, Ottawa, Canada.  NRCC No. 22488.

Hubert, T. D. and D.J. Johnson.  1997.  Determination of TFM residues in sediment and water collected from the mouth and littoral zone of the Milakokia River (Schoolcraft and Mackinac Counties, Michigan) during and following a lampricide application.

Lech, J. J. And C. N. Statham.  1975.  Role of glucuronide formation in the selective toxicity of 3-Trifluoromethyl-4-nitrophenol (TFM) for the sea lamprey: Comparative Aspects of TFM Uptake and Conjugation in Sea Lamprey and Rainbow trout.  Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology.  31:150-158.

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