The chemical, P,P-bis(1-aziridinyl)-N-methylphosphinothioic amide (bisazir), was found in laboratory studies to be an effective sterilant for both sexes of adult sea lampreys (Petromyzon marinus) when given intraperitoneally at a dosage of 100 mg per kilogram of body weight. A total of 300 normal spawning-run sea lampreys and 300 injected with bisazir were released into the Big Garlic River, Marquette County, Michigan, (a small stream divided into five sections by natural barriers), to determine the effect of bisazir on the nesting and spawning behavior of the adults and on the production of larvae. The lampreys constructed and spawned in 95 nests. Sterile adults showed no abnormal nest building or spawning behavior. Sterile males competed effectively with normal males for females. Egg samples taken from nests indicated that eggs in nests where sterile males spawned with sterile or normal females did not hatch, although some embryonic development occurred. Extensive surveys with electric shockers produced no larvae in stream sections where sterile males spawned, but yielded numerous larvae in sections where normal males spawned with normal females. These findings suggest that the release of sterile males may be an effective tool in an integrated approach to control of sea lampreys in the Great Lakes.
Additional publication details
Chemosterilization of the sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus)