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Criteria for the classification of marks inflicted by sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) into nine categories were developed from laboratory studies in an attempt to refine the classification system used in field assessment work. These criteria were based on characteristics of the attachment site that could be identified under field conditions by unaided visual means and by touching the attachment site. Healing of these marks was somewhat variable and was influenced by the size of lamprey, duration of attachment, severity of the wound at lamprey detachment, season and water temperature, and by other less obvious factors. Even under laboratory conditions staging of some wounds was difficult, especially at low water temperatures. If these criteria are to be used effectively and with precision in the field, close examination of individual fish may be required. If the feeding and density of specific year-classes of sea lampreys are to be accurately assessed on an annual basis, close attention to the wound size (as it reflects the size of the lamprey's oral disc) and character of wounds on fish will be required as well as consideration of the season of the year in which they are observed.
Additional Publication Details
Classification of sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) attack marks on Great Lakes lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush)
Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences