Sea lamprey invaded the Great Lakes in the early 20th century and caused an abrupt decline in the population densities of several native fish species. The integrated management of this invasive species is composed of chemical (lampricide) applications, low-head barrier dams, adult trapping and sterile male release. Recently, there has been an increased emphasis on the development of control methods alternative to lampricide applications. We propose as an alternative-control method the use of chemosensory cues as repellents for sea lamprey population management. Based on the available evidence at this time, we suggest that injury-released chemical alarm cues show promise as repellents for sea lamprey and further research should be directed at determining whether sea lamprey show an avoidance response to these types of chemosensory cues. From a management perspective, these chemosensory cues could be used to restrict sea lamprey access to spawning grounds. Repellents could also be used together with attractants like sex pheromones to manipulate sea lamprey behavior, similar to the “push-pull” strategies utilized with insect pests.
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Vol. 36 • No. 4