Fighting Lake Pest Could Be Slowed By Drinking Water Worries

Aug 7, 2016

Vermont officials are trying to adapt to a tougher drinking water standard for a chemical used to fight the sea lamprey, a parasitic eel that has hurt fish populations in Lake Champlain.

Officials with Governor Peter Shumlin's and Senator Patrick Leahy's offices tell The Associated Press that they've been negotiating over the use of the anti-lamprey chemical TFM since the state lowered its safe drinking water standard from 35 to three parts per billion.

That has raised an alarm among fishing enthusiasts like James Ehlers of Lake Champlain International, who worry that gains in the health and size of salmon, walleye and other species in Lake Champlain could be damaged if use of the chemical is scaled back or stopped and lamprey boom.

State officials say they're planning nothing drastic.

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