Test of a non-physical bio-acoustic fence to guide migratory sea lamprey

Project Overview
Project Abstract: 
The development of non-invasive technologies to divert adult sea lamprey migrations and direct adults into traps where physical barriers are not present is a primary research objective of the sea lamprey control program (McLaughlin et al. 2007). Traps have the potential to aid the control effort by removing pre-spawning phase animals from the population. However, only traps associated with barriers are currently effective, and even then, effectiveness varies widely among tributaries around the Great Lakes hindering utility of trapping as a control tool. Development of less intrusive technologies to guide migratory sea lamprey to traps and remove pre-spawning animals will be critical for advancement of trapping as a control tool and ultimately advancement of an integrated sea lamprey control program. We hypothesize that sea lamprey like other fish will exhibit avoidance behavior to certain combinations of bio-acoustic stimuli and will display acute repulsion to some combinations of acoustic, light, or bubble stimuli. We propose using Ovivo’s® Bio-Acoustic Fish Fence (BAFF) to test this hypothesis. Bio-acoustic fences have not been investigated as non-physical dispersion devices for sea lamprey; in fact nothing is known about acoustic sensory abilities for sea lamprey or any Agnathan (A. Popper, personal communication). For that reason, we propose a pilot study to first test whether a response exists. We predict that specific combinations of sound, light and bubbles can be used as non-physical leads to sea lamprey traps or as diversion devices to reduce infestation of spawning streams.
Investigator Info
Funding agency: 
Great Lakes Fishery Commission
Years research project active: