Oregon lampreys

troutdude

troutdude

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Thursday, February 25, 2021 (ODFW article)


SALEM, Oregon – Older than dinosaurs and still remaining primitive with boneless bodies, lampreys are fascinating fishes. A new ODFW brochure is introducing Oregonians to four of the state’s 10 native lamprey species.

Filled with professional illustrations by noted artist Joseph Tomelleri, eye-catching images, and graphics, the online brochure is informative and easy to read.

Oregon Lamprey Coordinator Benjamin Clemens is using the online brochure as an outreach tool to showcase the diversity and biology of Oregon’s lampreys and how they contribute to balancing stream ecosystems.

“I hope the brochure introduces readers to these unique fishes, each with a different life cycle and feeding habit,” Clemens said. Larval lamprey cleanse the water through their filter feeding and aerate the substrate they are burrowed into. All life stages provide high caloric food sources for many different species of fish, birds, and marine mammals.”

Clemens also noted the state’s other native fish species, including salmon and steelhead evolved to co-habitat with Oregon’s lampreys, none of which are the same nuisance species (the sea lamprey) that invaded the Great Lakes.

The brochure is in a printable pdf format with links to the species highlighted: Pacific, Western river, Western brook, and Miller Lake lamprey. It has been well-received in the scientific community and Clemens hopes Oregonians take advantage of another opportunity to learn more about Oregon’s lamprey species.
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Research photo courtesy Benjamin Clemens
 
C_Run

C_Run

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Polk and Coos Counties
Although kind of creepy, these are cool fish. We have a tiny creek on our place at the coast and I saw an adult Pacific lamprey for the first time last year. We have also seen small lampreys which are either brook lampreys or juvenile Pacific lampreys. I need to net one sometime and try to identify them. We are in the zone for brook lamprey. We have had this property in our family for 50 year and never saw a lamprey until two years ago.
 
U

Upnorth

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They may be cool, but back in the early 70s they almost wiped out the total population of steelhead on the coastal rivers. I remember ODFW, actually poison them in order to save the run of the native steelhead. Very interesting that they’re coming back, it sounds to me like it’s another predator towards our native fish runs. Just food for thought.
 
Admin

Admin

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In the 1950s, the Oregon Game Commission dumped barrels of the pesticide toxaphene into Miller Lake to kill the lamprey — along with everything else. They then restocked the lake with game fish.

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troutdude

troutdude

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Back in '79 or '80 I was part of a team that went into the slide area, of a creek, near Yachats. We had a "tickler" with us, which was a bit more powerful. Our job was to stun the resident fish so they would float belly up. Then scoop them up and pump their stomachs, to see what they had been eating. It was part of a scientific study to see how the slide had affected the fish in that area. The only thing that wasn't fun about that trip, was humpin' 80 pounds of gear down the hill to the creek below. Then hauling it back up that hill again. Otherwise it was a blast to do.
 
S

Socaaron

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Jun 9, 2012
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Portland
I grew up on the South Santiam, which at the time had a healthy popluation of Lamprey(Western I suppose). We used to watch them fascinated/grossed out as they climbed the concrete wall of Headgate dam(Lebanon)with just the slightest flow of water keeping the concrete wet.
Conversely playing in the sand silt beach below that dam when the babies hatch is something out of a horror movie....
 
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