Current and Recent Research Projects
- Lake Trout Restoration and Thiamine Deficiency
Co-Investigators: Jacques Rinchard, SUNY Brockport; Allison Evans, OSU
Graduate Student: Carrie Kozel
The invasion of alewife in 2003 poses a new threat to lake trout and Atlantic salmon in Lake Champlain: alewife contain thiaminase, an enzyme that breaks down thiamine in their predators. Severe thiamine deficiency in hatchery fry causes physical and behavioral symptoms, and high mortality. We are examining whether early foraging in wild lake trout fry could restore thiamine.
- Lake Trout Spawning Behavior
Co-Principal Investigator: Jason Stockwell, UVM
Graduate Student: Tori Pinhiero
Working with Great Lakes colleagues, we are studying lake trout spawning: how they select mates, how behavior changes from daytime to nighttime, when spawning occurs, and whether sexes differ in their movement among spawning sites within and between years. We have established an acoustic telemetry array throughout Lake Champlain, and tagged 30 lake trout in 2013 to follow their movements year-round. We are also observing behavior on a single reef using a home-built remotely-operated vehicle.
Project videos: Pre-spawning lake trout Oct 23 | Pre-spawning lake trout with lamprey | Clustered lake trout | Swarming lake trout, late afternoon Nov 6 | Swarming lake trout, early evening Nov 6
- Sea Lamprey
Principal Investigator: Scott Miehls, Hammond Bay Biological Station
UVM Field Technicians: Lee Simard, Alex Sotola, Justin Lemma, Brad Roy
Sea lamprey in the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain are controlled by application of lampricides in tributaries, and by blocking upstream migration of spawners in spring. Additional success at suppressing parasitic sea lamprey could be achieved by capturing post-metamorphic juveniles during their downstream migration in fall through spring. We are examining the diurnal, seasonal, and spatial movement patterns of out-migrating lamprey to maximize potential for capturing lamprey before they become parasitic.
- Habitat Restoration in Thunder Bay, Lake Huron
Project Partners: DLZ Michigan, Michigan DNR, USFWS, NOAA Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary
To remediate loss of critical lake trout spawning habitat we constructed 27 artificial reefs in Thunder Bay in 2010-2011. The reef design allows testing of factors (reef orientation, height, and size) that attract spawning lake trout and lake whitefish and maximizes egg and fry survival. We are conducting a five-year assessment of changes in reef shape, siltation, interstitial oxygen, colonization by dreissenids, egg deposition, and fry hatch. Learn more on the project website.
- Habitat Fragmentation in Lake Champlain
Co-Investigators: Jason Stockwell, William Kilpatrick, UVM
Undergraduate Student: Tyler Parent
Since the early 1800s, Lake Champlain has been progressively fragmented by causeways that create virtually isolated bays. The effect of these divisions on fish movement is largely unstudied. The focus of this study is to examine genetic differentiation among whitefish populations in the isolated basins of Lake Champlain, and estimate the amount of exchange between basins.
- Lake Trout Spawning in Yellowstone Lake
Co-Investigators: Bob Gresswell, Chris Guy, USGS
Graduate Student: Lee Simard
Lake trout are an invasive species in Yellowstone Lake, and threaten the endemic population of cutthroat trout. Suppression efforts since 1994 have used gillnetting and commercial trap-net fishing to kill up to 300,000 lake trout annually. To assess feasibility to suppress early life stages, we are investigating where lake trout spawn, their hatching success, and factors that affect survival of eggs and fry.
Last modified September 09 2014 07:34 AM