**ABSTRACT NOT FOR CITATION WITHOUT AUTHOR PERMISSION. The title, authors, and abstract for this completion report are provided below.  For a copy of the full completion report, please contact the author via e-mail at njohnson@usgs.gov. Questions? Contact the GLFC via email at frp@glfc.org or via telephone at 734-662-3209.**

 

Control sea lamprey in the Cheboygan River with sterile males: stage 1 Assessment prior to sterile male release

 

 

Nicholas Johnson1, Aaron Jubar2, Gale Bravener3, Jessica Barber4, Michael Siefkes5

 

 

1USGS, Great Lakes Science Center, Hammond Bay Biological Station, 11188 Ray Road, Millersburg, MI, 49759

 

2USFWS, Ludington Biological Station, 229 S. Jebavy Dr., Ludington, MI 49431

 

3 Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Sea Lamprey Control Center, 1219 Queen Street East, Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6A 2E5

 

4 USFWS, Marquette Biological Station, 3090 Wright Street, Marquette, MI 49855

 

5 Great Lakes Fishery Commission, 2100 Commonwealth Blvd., Suite 100, Ann Arbor, MI 48105

 

 

December 2016

 

ABSTRACT:

 

The upper Cheboygan River has been treated with lampricides on a 4-year cycle for nearly 50 years at an average treatment cost of $400,000. Upstream escapement of sea lamprey through a navigational lock near the dam has been hypothesized to be the source of infestation in the upper river. During 2011, we tested this hypothesis and estimated escapement to be between 0 and 2% (95% CI; Holbrook et al. 2014, CJFAS). The very low escapement rate did not support the hypothesis that escapement of adult sea lamprey from the lower river entirely supported the upper river infestation. An alternative hypothesis is that the upper river supports a sea lamprey population that completes its life cycle without entering Lake Huron. Collective results from 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 provide evidence that a small population of adult sea lamprey (n < 200) completed their life cycle in the upper Cheboygan River during each year and that upstream escapement rate of adult sea lamprey from the lower river to the upper river through the navigational lock was still low (Johnson et al. 2016, JGLR). Because the adult sea lamprey population in the upper Cheboygan River is small and has low immigration rates, it should be vulnerable to control tactics that reduce reproduction such as the sterile male release technique. Here, we collected baseline sea lamprey embryo, larval, and adult assessment data during 2015 and 2016 that, when combine with data from 2013 and 2014, will support an experimental evaluation of sterile male release during 2017, 2018, and 2019 using a Before-After-Control-Impact design.