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Toward Selective Fish Passage at In-stream Barriers: Assessing Self-Sorting of Invasive Sea Lamprey from Desirable Fishes in Great Lakes Fishways

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Title: Toward Selective Fish Passage at In-stream Barriers: Assessing Self-Sorting of Invasive Sea Lamprey from Desirable Fishes in Great Lakes Fishways
Author: Smith, McLean
Department: Department of Integrative Biology
Program: Integrative Biology
Advisor: McLaughlin, Robert
Abstract: In the Laurentian Great Lakes, anthropogenic barriers in tributaries can deny invasive sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) access to spawning habitat, but also deny desirable fishes access to important river habitats (the connectivity conundrum). Management options that selectively pass desirable fishes at a barrier while blocking sea lamprey could resolve the conundrum, but require effective sorting of fishes. My aims were to evaluate the effectiveness of passive, size-based sorting used to separate sea lamprey from other fishes in three Great Lakes fishways and to identify environmental conditions when passive sorting was most effective. My evaluation exploited 8-19 years of historical data for the fishways. The effectiveness of passive sorting was low (29%) compared to manual trapping-and-sorting, and to industrial separation processes, due to poor separation of small desirable fishes from sea lamprey, regardless of environmental conditions. Improving selective passage of fishes will likely require the integration of multiple sorting mechanisms.
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10214/26686
Date: 2022
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