Before 1995, Great Lakes streams were selected for lampricide treatment based primarily on qualitative measures of the relative abundance of larval sea lampreys, Petromyzon marinus. New integrated pest management approaches required standardized quantitative measures of sea lamprey. This paper evaluates historical larval assessment techniques and data and describes how new standardized methods for estimating abundance of larval and metamorphosed sea lampreys were developed and implemented. These new methods have been used to estimate larval and metamorphosed sea lamprey abundance in about 100 Great Lakes streams annually and to rank them for lampricide treatment since 1995. Implementation of these methods has provided a quantitative means of selecting streams for treatment based on treatment cost and estimated production of metamorphosed sea lampreys, provided managers with a tool to estimate potential recruitment of sea lampreys to the Great Lakes and the ability to measure the potential consequences of not treating streams, resulting in a more justifiable allocation of resources. The empirical data produced can also be used to simulate the impacts of various control scenarios.
Additional publication details
Techniques and methods for estimating abundance of larval and metamorphosed sea lampreys in Great Lakes tributaries, 1995 to 2001