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For Release: Friday, October 17, 2014

Treatment to Control Harmful Sea Lamprey Scheduled to Begin October 22

Treatments Will Enhance Lake Trout and Salmon Populations in Seneca Lake

The state Department of Environmental Conservation plans to conduct a treatment to the Catharine Creek Canal in Schuyler County to combat the parasitic sea lamprey the week of October 20, Paul D'Amato, Regional Director of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today. The Catharine Creek Canal flows into Seneca Lake.

"By effectively controlling sea lampreys, DEC can reduce mortality rates for fish that are targeted by sea lamprey, especially lake trout, rainbow trout, brown trout and landlocked salmon-some of the more popular fish in Seneca Lake," said Regional Director, Paul D'Amato. "In addition, less sea lampreys mean fewer unsightly scars and wounds on sportfish."

DEC will treat waters inhabited by juvenile sea lampreys in Catharine Creek Canal from Montour Falls Marina to the mouth of Glen Creek. The Lampricide application is scheduled to start on October 21, depending on weather conditions.

Typically, immature sea lamprey live in streams for three to four years before they become parasitic and descend into the lake to prey on other fish such as trout and salmon. Through the sea lamprey control program, a lampricide, called Bayluscide (niclosamide) will be applied to canal waters using a spreader mounted on a pontoon boat to kill the immature, larval stage of the sea lamprey. Bayluscide is a selective pesticide that has been used extensively for sea lamprey control in the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain. Bayluscide was last used in Seneca Lake and Catharine Creek Canal in 2008. The dosage levels that are lethal to larval sea lampreys can be harmlessly processed by most other aquatic organisms.

The treatments do not pose any significant hazard to human health. However, Seneca Lake is a public drinking water supply. As a precautionary measure, the state Department of Health has advised no lake water consumption, fishing, swimming, livestock watering or irrigation in the treatment zone during and immediately following applications. Appropriate signs will be posted along the treated areas. Treated water should not be used for drinking or cooking for four days following application and should not be used for bathing/showering, washing dishes or clothes, swimming and fishing for two days following treatment.

In addition, people should be aware that fish within the Bayluscide-treated area may contain low-level concentrations of this compound for 14 days following treatment. DEC initiated an extensive series of mailings to contact landowners and renters who may be affected by the treatments. Drinking water and water for other household uses will be supplied to affected people within the advisory areas upon request. Contact the DEC at (585) 226-2466 during normal business hours to request water.

Some minor fish and aquatic invertebrate mortality is expected and may be visible.

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