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Using stable isotopes to assess potential sea lamprey damage to Lake Superior fishes

Accurate diet information has been unavailable for invasive sea   lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) in the Great Lakes, which leads to   oversimplified impact assessment. This project examined stable   isotope ratios of sea lamprey in six regions of Lake Superior in   order to generate quantitative diet and host mortality estimates.   According to two equilibrium mixing model techniques, top predators   such as lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) comprised 6 -9 % of sea   lamprey diet in all areas except Black Bay, Ontario, where lake   whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) and catostomids were the major   hosts. We integrated stable isotope data and sea lamprey growth data   into an individual-based sea lamprey feeding model and generated   host-specific estimates of blood loss and mortality. Coregonines   accounted for the majority of host deaths. Fewer lake trout deaths   occurred, relative to a traditional impact model in which lake trout   were the only hosts. In this diverse host assemblage, sea lamprey   have more complex community-level effects than portrayed in current   impact models.    (sea lamprey); (sea lampreys); (Petromyzon marinus); (trout);   (Salvelinus namaycush); (whitefish); (Coregonus clupeaformis);   (AIS); (aquatic invasive species); (ANS); (aquatic nuisance species)

In progress
Start Date
End Date
Scope of Study
Field Investigation
Scale of Phenomena
Impact of Pollutants
Exotic Species
Resource Management
Lake Basin Connecting Channels
Lake Superior
State Province
Resource Being Monitored
Beneficial Use Impairment Assessments
Loss of Fish and Wildlife Habitat
Tainting of Fish and Wildlife Populations
Control And Mitigation
Biological Interactions (Predator/Prey)
Ecosystem Effects
Food Web Structure
Annex Numbers
Research & Development
Annex 17
Impact of water quality and AIS on fish and wildlife populations and habitats
  • Annex Numbers
    Annex Numbers
    Research & Development
  • Annex 17
    Annex 17
    Impact of water quality and AIS on fish and wildlife populations and habitats

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Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Region.