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New estimates of lethality of sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) attacks on lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush): implications for fisheries management

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Sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) control in North America costs millions of dollars each year, and control measures are guided by assessment of lamprey-induced damage to fisheries. The favored prey of sea lamprey in freshwater ecosystems has been lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush). A key parameter in assessing sea lamprey damage, as well as managing lake trout fisheries, is the probability of an adult lake trout surviving a lamprey attack. The conventional value for this parameter has been 0.55, based on laboratory experiments. In contrast, based on catch curve analysis, mark–recapture techniques, and observed wounding rates, we estimated that adult lake trout in Lake Champlain have a 0.74 probability of surviving a lamprey attack. Although sea lamprey growth in Lake Champlain was lower than that observed in Lake Huron, application of an individual-based model to both lakes indicated that the probability of surviving an attack in Lake Champlain was only 1.1 times higher than that in Lake Huron. Thus, we estimated that lake trout survive a lamprey attack in Lake Huron with a probability of 0.66. Therefore, our results suggested that lethality of a sea lamprey attack on lake trout has been overestimated in previous model applications used in fisheries management.

Le contrôle de la grande lamproie marine (Petromyzon marinus) en Amérique du Nord coûte des millions de dollars chaque année et les mesures de contrôle sont déterminées d’après l’évaluation des dommages causés aux pêches commerciales par les lamproies. Les proies préférées des grandes lamproies marines sont les touladis (Salvelinus namaycush). Une variable primordiale pour évaluer les dommages causés par les grandes lamproies marines et pour gérer la pêche aux touladis est la probabilité qu’un touladi adulte survive à une attaque de lamproie. La valeur courante assignée à cette variable d’après des expériences de laboratoire est de 0,55. En revanche, nous estimons qu’un touladi adulte du lac Champlain a une probabilité de 0,74 de survivre à une attaque de lamproie d’après l’analyse de la courbe des captures, les techniques de marquage–recapture et les taux observés de blessures. Bien que la croissance des grandes lamproies marines au lac Champlain soit moins élevée que celle observée au lac Huron, l’application d’un modèle basé sur l’individu aux deux lacs indique que la probabilité de survivre à une attaque au lac Champlain est seulement 1,1 fois plus grande qu’au lac Huron. Nous estimons donc que la probabilité de survie des touladis du lac Huron à une attaque de lamproies est de 0,66. Ainsi, nos résultats laissent croire que la létalité des attaques de grandes lamproies de mer pour les touladis a été surestimée dans les applications antérieures de modèles en aménagement des pêches.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2008

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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