Lampricide treatment slated for Westport, Crown Point
Sections of Beaver Brook and Putnam Creek will be treated with lampricide because the treatments were canceled last fall due to flow conditions.
Beaver Brook is in Westport, but since its mouth is close to the southern town line with Moriah, “its advisories zone spans less than a quarter mile of the shoreline in the northern corner of the Town of Moriah and about 0.5 miles up the shoreline in the southern corner of the Town of Westport,” accordong to Bradley Young of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Putnam Creek and its advisory areas are all within the Town of Crown Point, he said.
Since Lake Champlain is so narrow at that point, the corresponding area on the Vermont side is part of the advisory.
Lampricide Treatment is Weather Dependent
The Lake Champlain Fish and Wildlife Management Cooperative will apply the lampricides in Putnam Creek on Tuesday, April 26, and Beaver Brook on Thursday, April 28, if the weather cooperates.
“Treatment dates are always contingent on weather and may change with short notice,” Young said in a press release.
Larval sea lamprey live in rivers and on deltas for about four years before transforming to their parasitic phase and emigrating to Lake Champlain.
The cooperative will apply a select pesticide, TFM (3-trifluoromethyl-4-nitrophenol), to the waterways for between 12 and 14 hours “in prescribed and precise concentrations with careful monitoring to ensure effective elimination of sea lamprey larvae and protection of non-target species.”
Lampricide Treatments Have Been Successful
Larval sea lamprey live in rivers and on deltas for about four years before transforming to their parasitic phase and migrating to Lake Champlain.
A 2015 study revealed an average 27 lamprey wounds per 100 lake trout and 19 per 100 Atlantic salmon.
That compares to the record years of 2007 and 2003, when there were 99 wounds for lake trout and 79 for salmon, respectively.
“Several control initiatives are underway that will further reduce the sea lamprey population and reduce their impacts on Lake Champlain’s fish populations,” Young said in the release.
Lake sturgeon and walleye are other species whose populations benefit from the control program.
“Sea lamprey control also generates economic activity by increasing angling opportunities and the time that boaters, anglers and their families spend in the Lake Champlain area,” the release noted.
While the advisories for Beaver Brook and Putnam Creek are in effect, the New York State Department of Health says not to use the water for drinking, swimming, fishing, irrigation or livestock watering.
For Putnam Creek, the advisory will be in effect 9.2 miles from the application point to the stream mouth and also 1.5 miles northward on Lake Champlain and 1 mile south along the lake.
The advisory for Beaver Brook is 2 miles from the stream mouth to the point of application and a half mile north and south on Lake Champlain.
For more information on local lamprey treatment, including the schedule, progress reports and water-use advisories, call (888) 596-0611.
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