Lampreys Are Ancient– but Threatened

Lampreys are unique to Native American tribes in the Pacific Northwest, that serve the sucker-mouthed fish baked or dried at ceremonial events. Historically, they have likewise used oil from the eel-like animals for medical and also various other objectives. Researchers state these old swimmers go back to regarding 450 million years back– well prior to the dinosaurs.

Some lampreys are parasitic, drawing blood and also various other fluids out of other fish, yet they normally don’t kill their hosts. Certain species spend their lives in freshwater, while others are anadromous, indicating they’re birthed in freshwater however grow up in the sea and afterwards swim upstream to spawn where they were born, as salmon do. They can’t jump, nonetheless, however they can use their suction mouths to climb up steep rocks!

According to the Northwest Power as well as Preservation Council, indigenous tribes once operated large lamprey fisheries at the meeting factor of the Serpent as well as Columbia rivers, as well as at the mouth of the Walla River. However nowadays, lots of streams see much fewer lampreys than they utilized to, according to a 2013 Seattle Times write-up. One trouble is that dams in the Snake as well as Columbia rivers make it hard for the animals to return to their spawning premises.

To assist maintain the populace active, the Times records, tribal participants truck the fish thousands of miles, from locations where they’re still typical to areas where they’re in decline. People are also collaborating with the U.S. Military Corps of Engineers to aid discover means to let lampreys pass more easily over the dams, while another task seeks to launch a lamprey hatchery.

Human disturbance with its environment may threaten this creature’s existence, but the lamprey has endured many millions of years, and also it may yet survive us. So do not suspend the lamprey.

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