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We used lenghts and weights of 2367 live parasitic-phase sea lampreys (Petromyzon marinus) collected from Lake Huron, 1984-1990, to calculate their mean size at half-month intervals. Growth in weight was linear during June through September; increments averages 11.1 g per half month. Growth increased sharply in October to several times the summer rate. We speculate that the increase in growth in October is explained partly by water temperature and partly by an increase in appetite related to the onset of gonadal development. The greater compression of biomass accumulation in autumn than has been previously demonstrated better explains the autumn pulse of sea lamprey induced host mortality. Based on the seasonal pattern of growth and on recaptures of marked sea lampreys, we conclude that landlocked individuals grow to adult size and mature in one parasitic growth year. Regressions of weight (grams) on total length (millimetres) differed significantly among months, and the season of collection must be considered in predicting weight from length.
Additional Publication Details
Seasonal growth and duration of the parasitic life stage of the landlocked sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus)
Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences