Quantifying Great Lakes sea lamprey populations using an index of adults

Journal of Great Lakes Research
By: , and 



Effective control of aquatic invasive species requires knowledge of the population throughout the infested area. Lake-wide assessments of invasive sea lampreys (Petromyzon marinus) are used to assess their status in the Laurentian Great Lakes, informing fisheries managers and decision makers in the sea lamprey control program. Initially these assessments focused on an estimate of absolute abundance, but later switched to an estimate of relative abundance as an index. In this paper, we describe the recently developed index of sea lamprey abundance and the reasons for its use. Rather than trying to estimate spawning run sizes of all Great Lakes tributaries, the index instead estimates run sizes of a small subset of index streams. Streams chosen for the index had large spawning runs and a history of trapping operations that consistently yielded mark-recapture estimates. This change enabled the sea lamprey control program to abandon a previously used regression model that predicted run size on streams with no sea lamprey traps. Further research is needed to determine how strongly correlated the index is with actual patterns in the lake-wide population of adult sea lampreys.

Study Area

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Quantifying Great Lakes sea lamprey populations using an index of adults
Series title Journal of Great Lakes Research
DOI 10.1016/j.jglr.2021.04.009
Volume 47
Issue Suppl 1
Year Published 2021
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Great Lakes Science Center
Description 12 p.
First page S335
Last page S346
Country Canada, United States
Other Geospatial Lake Erie, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, Lake Ontario, Lake Superior
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