RATIONALE: An emergent fish transport technology, Whooshh Fish Transport System (WFTS), has demonstrated successful, automated passage for salmon spp. (Bryan, 2015, Yakima Nation Fisheries 2014) with minimal impact on fish health (Geist et al. 2016; Mesa et al. 2013). The WFTS transports fish using a pressure differential (positive pressure downstream and negative pressure upstream) to create a motive force that acts upon the effective surface area (circumference) of a fish inside closed, flexible tubes.
Chemoreception is not restricted to olfaction; solitary chemosensory cells (SCCs) are present in the skin of fish and other aquatic vertebrates, including brook and silver lampreys. With GLFC funding, we have investigated SCCs in the sea lamprey. In adults, these are numerous on cutaneous papillae around the nostril, around the oral disc, around the gill pores, and on the dorsal fins. Depending on their location, SCCs are innervated by different nerves, but their central projection pattern is similar, as each links to motor control centers.
This project is to support the work at the interface of sea lamprey biology and chemistry with focuses on sea lamprey pheromone biosensor development, TFM metabolism elucidation and analytical method development and validation for quantitative analysis of small molecules when the needs arise.
MANAGEMENT ISSUE: Over the past 5 years, the GLFC has invested millions of dollars in telemetry infrastructure and projects related to native fish restoration and improving sea lamprey control. The establishment of the Great Lakes Acoustic Telemetry Observation System (GLATOS) provides an opportunity for fish telemetry researchers to share data and resources. However, sharing telemetry findings with the management community and having that information embraced and used within decision making may prove more difficult. Are managers prepared for an entirely new type of knowledge about fish?
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 lampreys 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). The very low escapement rate did not support the hypothesis that escapement of adult sea lampreys from the lower river entirely supported the upper river infestation.
Adult sea lamprey abundance in Lake Erie increased during the past decade, exceeding pre-control levels and causing extensive mortality on some strains of stocked lake trout (Markham 2015). Control agents speculate that this increase may be due to an uncontrolled larval sea lamprey population in the St. Clair River because other known sources of larval sea lampreys are regularly treated with lampricide. Chemical control options for the roughly 1 million larval sea lampreys in the St.
Anglers are integral to conservation management by supplying funding through license fees and excise taxes as well as through their involvement in recreational organizations and constituting a political voice that influences fisheries policies. Surveys suggest that the number of Great Lakes anglers is declining and aging, but the structure of the GL angling population is not well understood.
Sea lamprey control requires choices about deployment of limited resources in the face of considerable uncertainty about the best course of action. In 2009 we published an operating model (Jones et al. 2009) designed to forecast the consequences of management strategies for sea lamprey control while accounting for key sources of uncertainty (assessment, process, implementation). This model has been used to evaluate larval assessment strategies, and to calculate Economic Injury Levels for each of the Great Lakes (Irwin et al. 2012).
We propose a one-year pilot project to assess the efficacy of using population genomics as a tool for Great Lakes sea lamprey control. We will use population genomics technology (single nucleotide polymorphisms, “SNPs”) to characterize patterns of genetic variation within and among streams and lakes. Previous studies have found high levels of gene exchange among rivers; therefore, we predict that most SNPs will show little, if any, differentiation among streams.
We propose to examine the performance of alternative statistical methods that could be applied to estimate abundance and trapping efficiency for the adult stage of sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus). Mark-recapture methods involving trapping are an integral part of the sea lamprey control program. They are used to estimate abundances of adults in specific tributaries, predict abundances across a lake, and quantify trapping efficiency.