Sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) invaded the Lake Champlain watershed during the 1800s and reached the American and Canadian Great Lakes during the 1930s. Recent rates of predation by sea lamprey on fish species of fish in Lake Champlain, particularly Lake Trout, have reached unprecedented levels. Data from 2003 showed a rate of 92 lamprey wounds per 100 Lake Trout. While most of the Lake Champlain tributaries are controlled for sea lampreys using chemical pesticides (for example, lampricides) and barriers, the Pike River and the Morpions Stream remain uncontrolled. A study conducted in 2001 concluded that the majority of the sea lampreys in the Pike River watershed originate from lampreys that spawn in the Morpions Stream (Dean and Zerrenner, 2001).
On the Pike River at Notre-Dame de Stanbridge, a dam blocks the migration of sea lamprey to the upstream portion of the river. However, the unimpeded portion of the Pike River and the Morpions Stream provide almost 43 km of suitable spawning and rearing habitat for sea lampreys. Most of this rearing habitat is found in the Morpions Stream, which flows for approximately 29.5 km starting from near Béranger, Quebec, to its confluence with the Pike River in Notre-Dame de Stanbridge. The reproduction of adult sea lampreys and the development of lamprey larvae in the Morpions Stream have been documented throughout its entire length.
The instream, seasonally-operated barrier was built in the fall of 2013. In has a flow-through screen design to capture adult sea lampreys moving upstream before they are able to reproduce in the Morpions Stream, which has particularly favorable sites for reproduction and larval development. For the purpose of this project, MILIEU is the representative and project manager for the US Fish and Wildlife Service in Canada.Evaluation of a Barrier to Control Sea Lamprey