Estimating reach-specific fish movement probabilities in rivers with a Bayesian state-space model: application to sea lamprey passage and capture at dams

June 1, 2015 - Author: , Christopher M. Holbrook, Nicholas S. Johnson, Juan P. Steibel, Michael B. Twohey, Thomas R. Binder, Michael L. Jones

Journal or Book Title: Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences

Volume/Issue: 71

Page Number(s): 1713-1729

Year Published: 2014

Improved methods are needed to evaluate barriers and traps for control and assessment of invasive sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) in the Great Lakes. A Bayesian state-space model provided reach-specific probabilities of movement, including trap capture and dam passage, for 148 acoustic tagged invasive sea lamprey in the lower Cheboygan River, Michigan, a tributary to Lake Huron. Reach-specific movement probabilities were combined to obtain estimates of spatial distribution and abundance needed to evaluate a barrier and trap complex for sea lamprey control and assessment. Of an estimated 21 828 – 29 300 adult sea lampreys in the river, 0%–2%, or 0–514 untagged lampreys, could have passed upstream of the dam, and 46%–61% were caught in the trap. Although no tagged lampreys passed above the dam (0/148), our sample size was not sufficient to consider the lock and dam a complete barrier to sea lamprey. Results also showed that existing traps are in good locations because 83%–96% of the population was vulnerable to existing traps. However, only 52%–69% of lampreys vulnerable to traps were caught, suggesting that traps can be improved. The approach used in this study was a novel use of Bayesian state-space models that may have broader applications, including evaluation of barriers for other invasive species (e.g., Asian carp
(Hypophthalmichthys spp.)) and fish passage structures for other diadromous fishes.

DOI: 10.1139/cjfas-2013-0581

Editor(s): Michael Bradford


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