Crucial to the management of invasive species is understanding space use and the environmental features affecting space use. Improved understanding of space use by invasive sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) could help researchers discern why trap success in large rivers is lower than needed for effective control. We tested whether manipulating discharge nightly could increase trap success at a hydroelectric generating station on the St. Marys River. We quantified numbers of acoustically tagged sea lampreys migrating up to, and their space use at, the hydroelectric generating station. In 2011 and 2012, 78% and 68%, respectively, of tagged sea lampreys reached the generating station. Sea lampreys were active along the face, but more likely to occur at the bottom and away from the traps near the surface, especially when discharge was high. Our findings suggest that a low probability of encountering traps was due to spatial (vertical) mismatch between space use by sea lamprey and trap locations and that increasing discharge did not alter space use in ways that increased trap encounter. Understanding space use by invasive species can help managers assess the efficacy of trapping and ways of improving trapping success.
Rous, A. M., McLean, A. R., Barber, J., Bravener, G., Castro-Santos, T., Holbrook, C. M., … McLaughlin, R. L. (2017). Spatial mismatch between sea lamprey behaviour and trap location explains low success at trapping for control. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 74(12), 2085–2097. https://doi.org/10.1139/cjfas-2016-0445