Estimates of larval sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) abundance are used to rank Great Lakes tributaries for lampricide treatment. Observers subjectively stratify habitat into three categories: type I = preferred, type II = acceptable, type III = unacceptable. Agreement was evaluated among eight observers classifying habitats in small discrete plots in two Lake Superior tributaries, the Rock and Chocolay rivers, and among four observers classifying and measuring the amount of each habitat type along random transects in the Rock River. Agreement among the eight observers classifying habitat plots was high (Chocolay, k = 0.742 and Rock, k = 0.785). The amounts of types I, II, and III habitat estimated were statistically different among observers. However, the amount of variability found in the classification and measurement of habitat by observers had little effect on the ranking of 51 streams considered for lampricide treatment.
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Agreement among observers classifying larval sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) habitat