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Using an Eel Ladder-Trap to Trap Sea Lampreys: Proof of Concept

RATIONALE:  This project 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:  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.     RELEVANCE TO PROGRAM: This proposal falls under the 'Barrier and   Trapping' research theme area - Great Lakes Fishery Commission.    Specifically, it proposes research that, if successful, will lead to   a new lamprey trap design that is selective for lamprey (i.e. little   or no impact on non-target species) and potentially 1  % effective   at retention. Such a device will complement existing portable and   built in traps and will assist the GLFC's goal of moving from   trapping lampreys for assessment to trapping for control.     (AIS); (aquatic invasive species); (ANS); (aquatic nuisance   species); (sea lamprey); (sea lampreys); (Petromyzon marinus)

In progress
Start Date
End Date
Scope of Study
Field Investigation
Scale of Phenomena
Natural Ecological Processes
Valuation Study
Resource Management
Lake Basin Connecting Channels
Lake Ontario
State Province
Biology And Life History
Parasites and Diseases
Control And Mitigation
Physical Measures
Ecosystem Effects
Predator / Prey Interactions
Spread of Established ANS Populations
Mechanisms of Spread
Annex Numbers
Research & Development
Annex 17
Impact of water quality and AIS on fish and wildlife populations and habitats
Aquatic Nuisance Species
  • 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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