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


Charles Krueger, 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


Michael Bradford