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Field tests of the NEPTUN low-voltage dc fish-guidance system to block adult lamprey migration and to guide lamprey into portable traps
Nicholas S. Johnson2, Piotr Parasiewicz3, Jason McHugh3, Mariusz Malinowski4, Sabina Zioła4
2 USGS, Great Lakes Science Center, Hammond Bay Biological Station, 11188 Ray Road, Millersburg, MI 49759
3 Fishways Global, LLC, 19849 Middlebelt Road Livonia, MI 48152
4 PROCOM SYSTEM S.A. ul. Krakowska 17a 50-424 Wrocław, Poland.
Sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) invaded the upper Laurentian Great Lakes and triggered fishery collapse and ecosystem dysfunction. Development of new technologies to limit sea lamprey access to spawning habitat and enhance trapping is a priority. We tested the hypothesis that adult sea lamprey would exhibit behavioral avoidance to graduated vertical fields of pulsed direct current (DC) and that the electric field would not injure or kill non-target fish. Laboratory and in-stream experiments coupling behavioral observation and telemetry techniques demonstrated that graduated vertical fields of pulsed DC can block sea lamprey migration and direct sea lamprey into traps. Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and white sucker (Catostomus commersoni), species that migrate sympatrically with sea lamprey, avoided the electric field and had minimal injuries when subjected to it. Vertical fields of pulsed DC (electrodes vertical in water column) offer several advantages for fish guidance compared to traditional horizontal fields (electrodes across bottom): 1) a vertical electric field has virtually no depth limitation during flood events, 2) vertical electrodes can be quickly deployed without significant stream modification, and 3) a vertical electric field does not transfer electricity into the ground, reducing power consumption to the point where remote deployments powered by solar, wind, hydro, or a small generator are feasible. Our findings may advance the application of this technology for blocking or trapping other invasive fish or reducing entrainment of valued fishes at hydropower facilities.