We developed an assay for measuring 7α,12α,24-trihydroxy-5a-cholan-3-one-24-sulfate (3kPZS), a mating pheromone released by male sea lampreys (Petromyzon marinus), at low picomolar concentrations in natural waters to assess the presence of invasive populations. 3kPZS was extracted from streamwater at a rate of recovery up to 90% using a single cation-exchange and reversed-phase mixed-mode cartridge, along with [2H5]3kPZS as an internal standard, and quantified using ultrahigh performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. The limit of detection was below 0.1 ng L–1 (210 fM), which was the lowest concentration tested. Intra- and interday coefficients of variation were between 0.3–11.6% and 4.8–9.8%, respectively, at 1 ng 3kPZS L–1 and 5 ng 3kPZS L–1. This assay was validated by repeat measurements of water samples from a stream spiked with synthesized 3kPZS to reach 4.74 ng L–1 or 0.24 ng L–1. We further verified the utility of this assay to detect spawning populations of lampreys; in the seven tributaries to the Laurentian Great Lakes sampled, 3kPZS concentrations were found to range between 0.15 and 2.85 ng L–1 during the spawning season in known sea lamprey infested segments and were not detectable in uninfested segments. The 3kPZS assay may be useful for the integrated management of sea lamprey, an invasive species in the Great Lakes where pheromone-based control and assessment techniques are desired.