The control of invasive sea lampreys (Petromyzon marinus) presents large scale management challenges in the Laurentian Great Lakes. No modeling approach has been developed that describes spatial dynamics of lamprey populations. We developed and validated a spatial and age-structured model and applied it to a sea lamprey population in a large river in the Great Lakes basin. We considered 75 discrete spatial areas, included a stock-recruitment function, spatial recruitment patterns, natural mortality, chemical treatment mortality, and larval metamorphosis. Recruitment was variable, and an upstream shift in recruitment location was observed over time. From 1993–2011 recruitment, larval abundance, and the abundance of metamorphosing individuals decreased by 80, 84, and 86%, respectively. The model successfully identified areas of high larval abundance and showed that areas of low larval density contribute significantly to the population. Estimated treatment mortality was less than expected but had a large population-level impact. The results and general approach of this work have applications for sea lamprey control throughout the Great Lakes and for the restoration and conservation of native lamprey species globally.
Additional Publication Details
A spatial age-structured model for describing sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) population dynamics
Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences