Sea Lamprey Barriers
Task Force Report
- Task Force established April 1991.
- Charge is: to expand the development and use of sea lamprey barriers throughout the convention area.
- Members are: Dennis Lavis (Chair) and Ellie Koon from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Tom McAuley and Andrew Hallett from Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada; Bill Swink from U.S. National Biological Service; Doug Dodge from Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources; Bill Culligan from New York Department of Environmental Conservation; Bernie Ylkanen, John Trimberger, and John Schrouder from Michigan Department of Natural Resources; Les Weigum from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; and Mike Millar from Great Lakes Fishery Commission Secretariat.
- Meetings held on: March 8 and September 12.
- Progress on the charge in 1995:
The Task Force (in coordination with BOTE and the Secretariat) issued a limited RFP soliciting research into the effects of lowhead barriers on stream fish communities. Presently there are 52 barrier dams that have been constructed or modified to stop sea lampreys on tributaries of the Great Lakes: 12 on Lake Superior, 10 on Lake Michigan, 11 on Lake Huron, 7 on Lake Erie, and 12 on Lake Ontario (Fig. 11). An evaluation of the current effectiveness of these barriers at stopping sea lampreys is presented in Table 26. Highlights of projects on each Lake in 1995 are:
Routine maintenance work was carried out at existing barriers.
- Big Carp River: An adjustable crest sea lamprey barrier with a fishpass channel and lamprey trap was constructed between February and May. This is the first
- barrier that employs inflatable bladders to raise crest plates to block passage of spawning run sea lampreys. Upstream and downstream sensors automatically maintain the required vertical drop.
- Bad River: A telemetry study of the upstream movements of spawning lake sturgeon and walleyes was conducted to evaluate potential barrier sites. A total of 28 lake sturgeon were fitted with transmitters and 27 of these sturgeon remained downstream of the lowermost potential site.
- Misery River: The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is negotiating with a landowner to secure an additional easement needed to install an add-on crest to the existing barrier.
- McIntyre River: Evaluation of the effects of the velocity barrier indicate that it is effective in blocking sea lampreys with no significant impact on the fish
- Nipigon River: Negotiations towards a built-in lamprey trap at the Alexander Falls Powerhouse continued with Ontario Hydro.
Table 26. Current status of sea lamprey barriers on the Great Lakes. (Number in parentheses corresponds to location of stream in Previous Section of the Sea Lamprey Annual Report
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