Frequently Asked Questions
Open Water Sea Lamprey Orientation Study
A field investigation to determine how sea lamprey move from Lake Huron back to the coast where they locate rivers and spawn.
April 2012 - July 2012
The open water phase of migration is the least observed part of any large fish migration. Salmonids include some of the most heavily studied migratory fishes and although much is known about what information migrants could use to find the coast, virtually nothing is known about what cues fishes actively use to reach the coast after feeding offshore. Based on the study of salmonids, possible coastal and open water cues for sea lamprey include current, olfactory cues, temperature gradients, magnetic fields, celestial cues, bottom slope or structure, and social information from conspecifics or hosts. Most migrations are flexible and rely on redundant search cues, as is the case for salmonids, if one sense or piece of information is nullified salmonids can change their movement pattern to accomplish the migration. Better understanding the open water phase of migration could reveal additional unforeseen control measures or explain why fish more commonly end up in certain rivers.