The toxicity of the lampricides 3-trifluoromethyl-4-nitrophenol (TFM) and 2',5-dichloro-4'-nitrosalicylanilide (niclosamide) to non-target fishes has been a major point of concern since their use to control larval sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) populations began in the early 1960s. The toxicity of TFM to several non-target fish species has been demonstrated in previous studies. However, little information is available on the toxicity of the TFM/1% niclosamide mixture. One species of particular concern is the lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens). Juvenile lake sturgeon of several size ranges were exposed to determine potential effects of the lampricides to individuals present in treatment streams. Sac fry were most resistant to the lampricides followed by fingerlings in the 200 to 225 mm size range. Swim-up fry and fingerlings less than 100 mm were the most sensitive. Concentrations that produced 50% mortality (LC50s) in juvenile lake sturgeon of these smaller size ranges were at or near the minimum lethal concentrations (MLCs) required for effective control of larval sea lampreys. The mudpuppy (Necturus maculosus), an amphibian native to several tributaries of the Great Lakes, have also become a species of interest in recent years. Laboratory tests conducted with TFM and a TFM/1% niclosamide mixture on adult mudpuppies indicate that although the amphibian is sensitive to the lampricides, an adequate margin of safety exists for adult mudpuppies to survive when exposed during stream treatments. Fifteen other fish species native to streams treated with lampricides were investigated in the laboratory to determine their sensitivity to the lampricides. Centrarchids, bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) and green sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus) were the least sensitive to TFM, while ictalurids, black bullhead (Ictalurus melas), channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus), and tadpole madtom (Notorus gyrinus) were the most sensitive. On-site bioassays conducted before lampricide treatments also revealed that lake sturgeon, channel catfish, and whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) were sensitive to the lampricides although considerably less sensitive compared to sea lamprey.
Additional publication details
Acute toxicity of TFM and a TFM/niclosamide mixture to selected species of fish, including lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) and mudpuppies (Necturus maculosus), in laboratory and field exposures