Sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) control in North America costs millions of dollars each year, and control measures are guided by assessment of lamprey-induced damage to fisheries. The favored prey of sea lamprey in freshwater ecosystems has been lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush). A key parameter in assessing sea lamprey damage, as well as managing lake trout fisheries, is the probability of an adult lake trout surviving a lamprey attack. The conventional value for this parameter has been 0.55, based on laboratory experiments. In contrast, based on catch curve analysis, mark-recapture techniques, and observed wounding rates, we estimated that adult lake trout in Lake Champlain have a 0.74 probability of surviving a lamprey attack. Although sea lamprey growth in Lake Champlain was lower than that observed in Lake Huron, application of an individual-based model to both lakes indicated that the probability of surviving an attack in Lake Champlain was only 1.1 times higher than that in Lake Huron. Thus, we estimated that lake trout survive a lamprey attack in Lake Huron with a probability of 0.66. Therefore, our results suggested that lethality of a sea lamprey attack on lake trout has been overestimated in previous model applications used in fisheries management. ?? 2008 NRC.
Additional Publication Details
New estimates of lethality of sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) attacks on lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush): Implications for fisheries management
Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences