US Geological Survey


Date of this Version



Fisheries Research 150 (2014) 38– 48


This article is a U.S. government work, and is not subject to copyright in the United States.


tControlling the invasion front of aquatic nuisance species is of high importance to resource managers. Wetested the hypothesis that adult sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus), a destructive invasive species in theLaurentian Great Lakes, would exhibit behavioral avoidance to dual-frequency pulsed direct current gen-erated by vertical electrodes and that the electric field would not injure or kill sea lamprey or non-targetfish. Laboratory and in-stream experiments demonstrated that the electric field blocked sea lampreymigration and directed sea lamprey into traps. Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and white sucker(Catostomus commersoni), species that migrate sympatrically with sea lamprey, avoided the electric fieldand had minimal injuries when subjected to it. Vertical electrodes are advantageous for fish guidancebecause (1) the electric field produced varies minimally with depth, (2) the electric field is not grounded,reducing power consumption to where portable and remote deployments powered by solar, wind, hydro,or a small generator are feasible, and (3) vertical electrodes can be quickly deployed without significantstream modification allowing rapid responses to new invasions. Similar dual-frequency pulsed directcurrent fields produced from vertical electrodes may be advantageous for blocking or trapping otherinvasive fish or for guiding valued fish around dams.