Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 4617
Title: Seasonal abundance, size, and host selection of western river (Lampetra ayresii) and Pacific (Entosphenus tridentatus) lampreys the Columbia River estuary
Author: Laurie A. Weitkamp, Susan A. Hinton, Paul J. Bentley
Publication Year: 2015
Journal: Fishery Bulletin
Volume: 113
Issue: 2
Pages: 213-226
Keywords: Pacific lamprey,river lamprey,Columbia River Estuary,prey selectivity,macrophthalmia

 Little is known about the basic biology and ecology of most native lampreys, including the use of estuaries by anadromous lampreys. To address this deficiency, we provide the first analysis of anadromous western river (Lampetra ayresii) and Pacific (Entosphenus tridentatus) lampreys in the Columbia River estuary, using data from 2 fish assemblage studies that span 3 decades (1980–1981 and 2001–2012). Pacific lamprey juveniles and adults in the estuary clearly were separated by size, whereas western river lamprey formed one continuous size distribution. Pacific lamprey juveniles and adults were present in the estuary in winter and spring, and western river lamprey were present from spring through early fall. Depth in the water column also differed by lamprey species and age class. During 2008–2012, we documented wounds from lampreys on 8 fish species caught in the estuary. The most frequently wounded fishes were non-native American shad (Alosa sapidissima), subyearling Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), shiner perch (Cymatogaster aggregata), and Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii). This basic information on western river and Pacific lampreys in the Columbia River estuary adds to the growing body of regional research that should aid conservation efforts for these ancient species.

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Theme: Recovery and rebuilding of marine and coastal species
Foci: Characterize the population biology of species, and develop and improve methods for predicting the status of populations.
Develop methods to use physiological, biological and behavioral information to predict population-level processes.