Sea lamprey control is a critical fishery management action delivered to support the fish community objectives developed by the Lake Committees as part of the Strategic Plan for Great Lakes Fishery Management. Objectives for acceptable levels of mortality that allow the establishment and maintenance of self-sustaining stocks of lake trout and other salmonids have been established on all of the lakes. In some cases, the Lake Committees have established specific targets for sea lamprey populations in the Fish Community Objectives or the lake trout rehabilitation plans. The current control program reflects actions by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (Department) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) as contract agents of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission (Commission) to meet these targets.
The Commission is working in partnership with the Lake Committees through their Lake Technical Committees to refine the current target statements and to develop common target formats for each of the lakes. These targets will consider the costs of control along with the benefits to define the control program that supports the Fish Community Objectives and is ecologically and economically sound and socially acceptable. The target for each lake will define the abundance of sea lampreys that can be tolerated and the economically viable level of control required to reach the desired suppression.
This report presents the actions of the Department and Service in the integrated management of sea lampreys in the Great Lakes during 1995. Also, we relate recent trends in lampricide use to the Commission Vision and in sea lamprey abundance to Fish Community Objectives.
The Commission (GLFC 1992) identified milestones in relation to the "Integrated Management of Sea Lamprey Vision Statement" that included:
Development and use of alternative control techniques to reduce reliance on lampricides to 50% of current levels.
Since the beginning of the use of lampricides in the management program, the Service and Department continuously have increased their efficiency in the use of TFM. The combination of improved analytical, application, and assessment techniques and construction of barriers has reduced TFM use for the period of 1990-95 (annual avg. of 42,000 kg) when compared to 1980-89 (annual avg. of 52,000 kg) (Figure 1).
Figure 1: Average annual use of TFM (active ingredient) during 1980-1898 was 52,000 kg and for 1990-1995 was 42,000 kg. Target use for 200 is 26,000 kg.