The chemicals used to control the sea lamprey, Petromyzon marinus, in the Great Lakes have drastically reduced populations of larval lampreys in tributary streams. These larvicides are too costly and difficult to apply, however, in inland lakes, estuaries, and bays. Populations of sea lampreys in these areas constitute a threat to the refinement of the control. The gear available to locate, ample, and evaluate larval populations in deep water are inefficient. Electric shockers, satisfactory for collecting ammocoetes in streams, are limited to shallow water. The use of mechanical devices such as the Petersen dredge, anchor dredge, and the orange-peel dredge is time consuming, inefficient, and relatively ineffective in providing reliable quantitative evaluation of population size and composition over large areas of bottom. A device was required to sample adequately many areas in a short period of time, regardless of the depth of water. Mobility also was essential to permit operation of the unit in the various Great Lakes and in inland waters. An electrified beam trawl has been developed that most nearly meets these requirements. It has been used successfully to collect larvae of the sea lamprey, American brook lamprey (Lampetra lamottei), northern brook lamprey (Ichthyomyzon fossor), and silver lamprey (I. unicuspis). Effectiveness of the trawl did not appear to differ with species.
Additional publication details
An electric beam trawl for the capture of larval lampreys