During 1982-85, 89 dead lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) were recovered with bottom trawls in U.S. waters of Lake Ontario: 28 incidentally during four annual fish-stock assessment surveys and 61 during fall surveys for dead fish. During the assessment surveys, no dead lake trout were recovered in April-June, one was recovered in August, and 27 were recovered in October or November, implying that most mortality from causes other than fishing occurred in the fall. The estimated numbers of dead lake trout between the 30- and 100-m depth contours in U.S. waters ranged from 16 000 (0.08 carcass/ha) in 1983 to 94 000 (0.46 carcass/ha) in 1982. Of 76 carcasses fresh enough to enable recognition of sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) wounds, 75 bore fresh wounds. Assuming that sea lamprey wounding rates on dead fish were the same as on live ones of the same length range (430-740 mm), the probability of 75 of the 76 dead lake trout bearing sea lamprey wounds was 3.5 x 10-63 if death was independent of sea lamprey attack, thus strongly implicating sea lampreys as the primary cause of death of fish in the sample. The recovery of only one unwounded dead lake trout also suggested that natural mortality from causes other than sea lamprey attactks is negligible.
Additional Publication Details
Assessment of sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) predation by recovery of dead lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) from Lake Ontario, 1982-85
Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences