Skip to main content

Using an eel ladder-trap to trap sea lampreys: proof of concept

RATIONALE:  This proposal is based on the premise that the similarity  in swimming style between eels and lampreys means that the highly  effective eel ladder-trap, specifically the ?Eel ladder? cylinder  substrate used as the ladder (developed by Milieu Inc., President, D.  Desrochers), should be equally effective at trapping lampreys.  We  lab-tested this premise last summer and found that lampreys would swim  up a 45° ramp with a smooth and wetted surface by using lateral  compression against closely spaced cylinders and would ascend with  less effort and go substantially farther up the ramp than they would  in the absence of the cylinders.  We now propose a series of trials in  the field designed to optimize the performance of the lamprey ?ladder  trap? using a step-wise process described below.    OBJECTIVES:  1. Design and build a lamprey ?ladder-trap? prototype.   The design will draw on expertise developed in providing upstream  passage of eels over hydroelectric dams on the St Lawrence River and  its tributaries.  The key feature of the ladder-trap is the ?eel  ladder? substrate, a series of closely packed cylinders which eels use  to propel themselves up the ramp. 2. Evaluate performance of  prototype.  This evaluation will address the following questions: Are  there obvious flaws that need to be corrected before any further  testing? If not, is the response of lampreys to the prototype  reproducible over successive trials?  If so, is the trapping  performance of the prototype optimal?  The standard we will use for  optimality is uninterrupted transits up the ramp and at least 9 %  capture in the trap within a six hour observation period. 3. Modify  prototype and re-test.  This objective assumes that the optimality  standard (above) has not been met.   

In progress
Start Date
End Date
Gordon McDonaldPrincipal Investigator
Associated with 3 projects
Denis DesrochersResearcher
Associated with 1 projects
Great Lakes Fishery Commission $ 10,000.00CADEstimates

Funding 54 projects for a total of $5,089,137.00
Scope of Study
Field Investigation
Scale of Phenomena
Resource Management
Lake Basin Connecting Channels
Lake Ontario
State Province

The Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Research Inventory is an
interactive, Internet-based, searchable database created as a tool to collect and disseminate
up-to-date information about research projects in the
Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Region.