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Lampreys; Growth; Ammocoete populations; Ecology


This study dealt primarily with the ammocoete stage of the chestnut lamprey, lchthyamyzan castaneus (Girard). The population estimate for ammocoetes in the 25.5 m2 section studied was 540 individuals. The lengths of 452 ammocoetes collected ranged from 42 to 164 mm. A total of 213 chestnut lampreys were retained for laboratory study. Twenty of these were adults with an average length of 136.8 mm (range= 125 mm to 191 mm). Six age classes of ammocoetes were determined. An average increase in body length of recaptured ammocoetes of 2.9 mm was observed during the summers of 1980 and 1981. The habitat preference of the chestnut lamprey was sand-silt substrate in the littoral zone, with a dense cover of Canadian waterweed, Elodea canadensis, in water depths of 10 cm to 45 cm. No signs of scarring or lamprey attachment were observed on 175 fish in the study area; it is suggested that lampreys moved downstream to areas of higher densities of host fish.

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