Test of a nonphysical barrier consisting of light, sound, and bubble screen to block upstream movement of Sea Lampreys in an experimental raceway.
Control of the invasive Sea Lamprey Petromyzon marinus is critical for management of commercial and recreational fisheries in the Laurentian Great Lakes. Use of physical barriers to block Sea Lampreys from spawning habitat is a major component of the control program. However, the resulting interruption of natural streamflow and blockage of nontarget species present substantial challenges. Development of an effective nonphysical barrier would aid the control of Sea Lampreys by eliminating their access to spawning locations while maintaining natural streamflow. We tested the effect of a nonphysical barrier consisting of strobe lights, low-frequency sound, and a bubble screen on the movement of Sea Lampreys in an experimental raceway designed as a two-choice maze with a single main channel fed by two identical inflow channels (one control and one blocked). Sea Lampreys were more likely to move upstream during trials when the strobe light and low-frequency sound were active compared with control trials and trials using the bubble screen alone. For those Sea Lampreys that did move upstream to the confluence of inflow channels, no combination of stimuli or any individual stimulus significantly influenced the likelihood that Sea Lampreys would enter the blocked inflow channel, enter the control channel, or return downstream.