**ABSTRACT NOT FOR CITATION WITHOUT AUTHOR PERMISSION. The title, authors, and abstract for this completion report are provided below.For a copy of the full completion report, please contact the author via e-mail at dzielinski@usgs.gov or via telephone at 989-734-4768, ext.114. Questions? Contact the GLFC via email at stp@glfc.org or via telephone at 734-662-3209.**


Alternative barrier technologies: History as a control tooL


Daniel Zielinski2, Robert McLaughlin3, Theodore Castro-Santos4, Bhuwani Paudel5, Pete Hrodey6


2Great Lakes Fishery Commission, Hammond Bay Biological Stations, 11188 Ray Road., Millersburg, MI 49759-9481, USA

3University of Guelph, Department of Integrative Biology, Guelph ON N1G2WI, Canada

4U.S. Geological Survey, S.O. Conte Anadromous Fish Research Center, One Migratory Way, Turners Falls, MA 01376, USA

5Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Sea Lamprey Control Centre, 1219 Queen Street East, Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6A 2E5, Canada

6U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Marquette Biological Station, 3090 Wright Street, Marquette, MI 49855, USA


October 2018




Currently, application of lampricides and installation of low-head barriers are the only proven means of sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) control in the Great Lakes. While sea lamprey cannot climb or jump over low-head barriers, many desirable migratory species also cannot traverse barriers and are unintentionally blocked. Recently, there has been a push to reduce reliance on chemical controls as well as increase stream connectivity and flood conveyance.In response, the Great Lakes Fishery Commission continues to seek alternative methods of control.Great Lakes basin resource managers often request consideration of alternatives to both lampricide use and low-head barriers. Seasonal operation and alternative barrier designs (e.g., velocity barriers, electrical barriers) that incorporate additional features such as selective fish passage or flood conveyance are among the most commonly requested options. To date, alternative barrier technologies have been intermittently successful in the Great Lakes Fishery Commissionís sea lamprey control program, yet continue to be proposed as alternatives to conventional low-head barriers.We completed a comprehensive review on the current state of knowledge regarding the effectiveness of current and alternative barrier technologies and their historical use in the sea lamprey control program.Our synthesis provides resource managers and sea lamprey control agents a reference and some tools to facilitate decision making around barriers that balance the critical need for invasive species control and fishery restoration.




         The Great Lakes Fishery Commissionís sea lamprey control program has generated a technologically diverse set of barrier designs that focus on influencing or exploiting a single behavioral (e.g., non-physical barriers), phenological (e.g., seasonal barriers), physiological (e.g., fixed-crest and velocity barriers), or morphological (e.g., screens and weirs) attributes to block or trap sea lamprey.

         The fixed-crest barrier has the longest history of effectively blocking sea lamprey passage; owed, in part, to its relatively straightforward design.

         The next most common designs, adjustable-crest and seasonally operated barriers utilize a similar blocking mechanism as fixed-crest barriers but have higher costs associated with staffing and risks associated with automated operation.

         Alternatives barrier technologies such as resistance weirs, velocity barriers, and vertical mount electrodes with pulsed direct current have been shown, at least experimentally, to have potential to block sea lamprey passage; however, none have been deployed yet at a management scale.

         The lesson learned from the history of sea lamprey barriers is that great caution should be exercised prior to implementing new and experimental barrier technologies at the management scale.