Older than dinosaurs, Oregon’s lampreys are fascinating fishes

Adult Pacific lamprey live in the ocean and return to freshwater to spawn and die.
Photo Credit: Research photo courtesy Benjamin Clemens

by OR Department of Fish & Wildlife Staff

SALEM, Ore – 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.

More Reports

OR Department of Fish & Wildlife Reports
for Thursday, February 25th

Dog Lake: Yellow Perch Catches Are Measuring up to 14 Inches!
Applegate River: Anglers Reported Catching A Few Winter Fish
Diamond Lake: There Were A Few Anglers on The Lake But No Recent Report
Fish Lake : Fish Lake Cabins Are Currently Available
Howard Prairie Reservoir: Expect a sunny cold weekend and ice on the water
Illinois River: Conditions should be pretty prime through late week
Lake Selmac: Received 5,00 Rainbows 2/13
Lost Creek Lake: The Takelma ramp is currently the only ramp open and usable
Rogue River - Middle: Wild steelhead can now be retained in the whole Rogue basin
Rogue River- Upper: If the Middle Rogue looks blown out, the upper river is never a bad place to target
Rogue River- Upper (Above Lost Creek): Hwy 62 Webcame at Union Creek Showed Bare Pavement
Umpqua River: Umpqua River Report
Alsea River: Winter steelhead fishing continues to be slow on the Alsea
Siletz River: High Water Has Been Making it Tough to Fish Each Week
Siuslaw River: High Water Has Been Making it Difficult to Get Out There
Green Peter Reservoir: Green Peter Reservoir Report
Santiam River ( North Fork) Above Detroit Lake: Water Clarity is Good Despite High Flows
Fall River: Anglers Reporting Fair Fishing From The Falls Upsteam
Metolius River: Anglers report consistent fishing between Allingham Bridge and Bridge 99
Grande Ronde River: Recieved A Bump is Flows Earlier This Week
Imnaha River: The Imnaha River will see a push of steelhead out of the Snake soon
John Day River: Steelhead Are Moving Up River
Columbia River: Columbia River Weekly Counts

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