**The title, authors, and abstract for this completion report are provided below.  For a copy of the completion report, please contact the GLFC via e-mail or via telephone at 734-662-3209**



Migratory behavior and swim performance of sea lamprey and non- target fish species at sea lamprey barriers and in laboratory flumes


D.G. McDonald2, R.L. McLaughlin2, and U.G. Reinhardt3




2  Integrative Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, N1G 2W1 Canada


3  Department of Biology, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI USA 48197




March 2012




This study combined a series of laboratory and field investigations to examine environmental factors influencing the migration, activity, and climbing ability of spawning-run sea lamprey in streams. The research was based on the proposition that a greater understanding of sea lamprey behavior during migration could reveal new opportunities to assist sea lamprey control by blocking (using barriers) or removing (using traps) spawning-run sea lamprey. It was demonstrated that migrating sea lamprey do not require vision to move upstream successfully, and photoreceptors in the tail play a strong role in light avoidance and diel variation in activity. Experiments examining whether lit traps attract and catch more sea lamprey than unlit traps demonstrated that the effects of light on trapping are context dependent, but lighting could provide a way to separate sea lamprey from non-target fishes in sequential traps. Measures of diel activity in the lab and migratory activity in the field (daily trap catches) were consistently correlated with water temperature, and, for the latter, with day-to-day changes in water temperature. In the field, migration activity was only related with stream flow in small streams and not strongly related at all to lunar cycle, which could have revealed a circumlunar rhythm, or responses to gravitational influences or lunar lighting. A study tracking migrating sea lamprey revealed sites that were used consistently as daytime refuges. Electrofishing these sites could be explored as a control measure. Another experimental study examining the ability of sea lamprey to climb inclined ramps suggested that lamprey have limited climbing abilities and that it might be possible to reduce the head height recommended for sea lamprey barriers and eliminate the use of a lip at the top of barriers. These studies suggest that the migratory behavior in rivers and streams is potentially complex, being affected by a variety of environmental influences, and support the proposition that increased understanding these influences can reveal ways of improving sea lamprey control.