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Test of a non-physical bio-acoustic fence to guide migratory sea lamprey
Scott Miehls2, Nicholas S. Johnson2, and Peter J. Hrodey3
2 USGS, Great Lakes Science Center, Hammond Bay Biological Station, 11188 Ray Road, Millersburg, MI 49759
3 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Marquette Biological Station, Marquette, MI
Control of the invasive sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) is critical for management of commercial and recreational fisheries in the Laurentian Great Lakes. Blocking sea lamprey from spawning habitat with physical barriers is a major component of the control program. However, interruption of natural stream flow and blockage of non-target species present substantial challenges. Trapping is the primary tool for sea lamprey population assessment, but successful trapping is dependent on the presence of a physical barrier to upstream migration. Development of an effective non-physical barrier would aid the control of sea lamprey by eliminating access to spawning habitat and improving trapping efficiency while, being less intrusive on the natural stream habitat and further allow trapping in locations without physical barriers. We tested combinations of strobe lights, low-frequency sound, and bubble screens in a two-choice maze bioassay to determine its effectiveness to block and guide sea lamprey movement. Sea lampreys were more likely to move upstream in an experimental raceway when the low-frequency sound was present and when a high-intensity strobe light was active. Upon reaching the upstream confluence of inflow channels sea lamprey were less likely to move into the channel from which the low-frequency sound was generated. Sea lamprey movement appears to be influenced by acoustic and light stimuli and further investigation is necessary to determine if effective non-physical barriers can be developed.