A case study of sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) control and ecology in a microcosm of the Great Lakes

Journal of Great Lakes Research
By: , and 

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Abstract

The Cheboygan River, Michigan, is the only tributary to the upper Great Lakes where sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) are known to complete their entire life cycle. The Upper and Lower reaches are separated by the Cheboygan Lock and Dam located about 2 km from Lake Huron. In the Upper River, the Pigeon, Sturgeon, and Maple Rivers provide nursery habitat for larval sea lamprey. Burt and Mullett Lakes provide feeding grounds for juvenile sea lamprey. Low levels of immigration from Lake Huron occur when adult sea lamprey bypass the lock and dam. Lampricide treatment in the Pigeon, Sturgeon, and Maple Rivers began in 1966 and 15 treatments have been conducted to date at a combined cost of $435,000 USD per treatment. Treatments may become more difficult due to recent dam removals in the Pigeon (2016) and Maple Rivers (2018) that expanded habitat available to valued fishes and sea lamprey. At present, the landlocked population is less than 200 spawning adults, and those adults are generally smaller and may spawn earlier in the spring than adult sea lamprey from Lake Huron. Frequency of sea lamprey-induced wounding on steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and northern pike (Esox lucius) in Mullett Lake is less than 5%. Given increasing challenges of lampricide treatment, efforts to test other means of control such as sterile male release technique is on-going. The Cheboygan River represents a microcosm of the Great Lakes and is useful for learning about sea lamprey ecology and testing controls that supplement lampricides and barriers.

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Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title A case study of sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) control and ecology in a microcosm of the Great Lakes
Series title Journal of Great Lakes Research
DOI 10.1016/j.jglr.2020.09.006
Edition Online First
Year Published 2021
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Great Lakes Science Center
Country United States
State Michigan
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