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Columbia River habitat

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The Columbia River Basin of northwestern North America is an important habitat for the 76 cm Pacific lamprey (Lampetra tridentata) The Columbia River is the largest North American watercourse by volume that discharges to the Pacific Ocean. With headwaters at Columbia Lake, in Canadian British Columbia, the course of the river has a length of approximately 2000 kilometers and a drainage basin that includes most of the land area of Washington, Oregon and Idaho as well as parts of four other U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. The hydrology and aquatic habitat of the Columbia River basin has been adversely altered by numerous large dams. There are over 250 reservoirs and around 150 hydroelectric projects in the basin, including 18 mainstem dams on the Columbia and its main tributary, the Snake River. Water quality has deteriorated over the last century, due to agricultural runoff and logging practices, as well as water diversions that tend to concentrate pollutants in the reduced water volume. For example nitrate levels in the Columbia generally tripled in the period from the mid 1960s to the mid 1980s, increasing from a typical level of one to three milligrams per liter. Considerable loading of herbicides and pesticides also has occurred over the last 70 years, chiefly due to agricultural land conversion and emphasis upon maximizing crop yields. Heavy metal concentrations in sediment and in fish tissue had become an issue in the latter half of the twentieth century; however, considerable progress has been made beginning in the 1980s with implementation of provisions of the U.S.Clean Water Act, involving attention to smelter and paper mill discharges along the Columbia. Other large demersal vertebrate species occurring in the Columbia Basin are the 55 cm Brown bullhead (Ameiurus nebulosus); the 61 cm largescale sucker (Catostomus macrocheilus); the 64 cm longnose sucker (Catostomus catostomus catostomus); and the 65 cm Utah sucker (Catostomus ardens). Other large benthopelagic fish in the Columbia are the 63 cm northern pikeminnow (Ptychocheilus oregonensis) and the 45 cm Tui chub (Gila bicolor).
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C.Michael Hogan
bibliographic citation
C.Michael Hogan. 2012. Columbia River. Eds. P.Saundry & C.Cleveland. Encyclopedia of Earth. National Council for Science and the Environment. Washington DC
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Diagnostic Description

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Characterized by the presence of 3 (rarely 2) large sharp teeth on the supraoral bar and three sharp points on each of the central lateral tooth plates. Dorsal fins arise far back on the body, the anterior fin lower and shorter, higher in males; lower lobe of caudal fin larger than upper, the lobes joined to dorsal and anal fins; anal fin rudimentary, virtually absent in males. Adults from the sea blue-black to greenish above, silvery to white below; spawning adults become reddish brown (Ref. 27547). Other diagnostic characters: oral disc as wide or wider than head; usually 64-71 trunk myomeres; dark blue or brown above, light or silver below (Ref. 86798). Adults: 9.6-80.0 cm TL. Specimens 38-62 cm TL weigh 120-510 g wet weight. Body proportions, as percentage of TL (based on 274 specimens measuring 9.6-71.6 cm TL): prebranchial length, 9.8-18.0; branchial length, 7.8-12.6; trunk length, 40.3-54.0; tail length, 23.6-34.9; eye length, 1.3-4.5; disc length, 4.6-9.1. The urogenital papilla length, as a percentage of branchial length, in two spawning males measuring 21.1-21.7 cm TL, 12.0-12.5. Trunk myomeres, 60-71 (may be as low as 57 and as high as 78). Dentition: marginals, 48-62; supraoral lamina, 3 unicuspid teeth, the median one being smaller; infraoral lamina, 5-6 unicuspid teeth, predominantly 5; 4 endolaterals on each side; endolateral formula, typically 2-3-3-2, the first endolateral rarely unicuspid and the second and third endolaterals rarely bicuspid; 2 rows of anterials; first row of anterials, either 1 or 5 unicuspid teeth; exolaterals absent; 1 row of posterials, 12-21 teeth, of which 0-5 may be bicuspid and the remainder unicuspid; transverse lingual lamina, 14-23 unicuspid teeth, the median one slightly enlarged; longitudinal lingual laminae parentheses-shaped, each with 20-27 unicuspid teeth [50-63 according to McPhail and Lindsey (1970)]. Velar tentacles, 10-18, with tubercles; the dorsal wings may each consist of up to 5-6 long tentacles that reach the median tentacle. Median tentacle about the same length as the lateral ones immediately next to it. Four of five specimens from the Sprague River did not possess wings and had 7-10 tentacles. Body coloration (preserved), dorsal, lateral, and ventral aspects bluish gray in older individuals and ventral aspect either dark gray or almost white in recently metamorphosed individuals. Lateral line neuromasts unpigmented or darkly pigmented. Caudal fin pigmentation, +++. Caudal fin shape, rounded or spade-like. Oral fimbriae, 94-105. Oral papillae, 12-18 (Ref. 89241).
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Cristina V. Garilao
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Life Cycle

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In the spring following the migration into fresh water, a male and a female dig a nest. In the spawning act, the female attaches herself to a rock and the male fastens its sucker on the head of the female and coils around the female. The two then vibrate and eggs and sperms are released (Ref. 27547). Males spawn with more than one female in different nests (Ref. 1998). Adults die 1-14 days after spawning (Ref. 1998), while other sources say adults die 3-36 days after spawning (Ref. 89241). Larvae remain buried in the stream bottom for up to 5 or 6 years and return to the sea after changing into the adult form (Ref. 1998). The parasitic adults spend 12-20 months in the sea before moving upstream to spawn (Ref. 1998).
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Migration

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Anadromous. Fish that ascend rivers to spawn, as salmon and hilsa do. Sub-division of diadromous. Migrations should be cyclical and predictable and cover more than 100 km.
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Trophic Strategy

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Spawning adults are found in gravel riffles and runs of clear coastal streams; feeding adults usually in the ocean, but landlocked populations occur (Ref. 1998); ammocoetes in silt, mud, and sand of shallow eddies and backwaters of streams (Ref. 5723). Some individuals may spend up to 42 mo. in saltwater before returning to freshwater (Ref. 12479).
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Biology

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Anadromous, but also a number of permanent freshwater resident populations (Cultus Lake, British Columbia; Sprague River, Klamath River Basin, Oregon). In marine waters, adults mostly inhabit the mesopelagic zone down to 800 m depth and have been documented as far as 117 km off the coast of Oregon. In fresh waters, ammocoetes and adults inhabit lakes, rivers, and creeks. Ammocoetes occur in soft sediments in shallow areas along stream banks (Ref. 89241); in silt, mud, and sand of shallow eddies and backwaters of streams (Ref. 5723). Spawning adults are found in gravel riffles and runs of clear coastal streams; feeding adults usually in the ocean, but landlocked populations occur (Ref. 1998). Stops feeding once upstream spawning migration is underway (Ref. 1998). Parasitic adults attach themselves to the side or undersurface of its prey, from which it draws blood and body fluids as food. Preys on fishes and sperm whales (Ref. 6885). Adults are found in the Strait of Georgia from December to mid-June. The duration of the feeding phase at sea has been estimated at 20-42 months. In British Columbia, return to fresh water begins as early as April and is completed by September. In the Columbia River, prior to the completion of the Grand Coulee Dam in 1941, spawning migrations of 800 km up to Kettle Falls, Washington occurred. In order to cross barriers such as falls, they use their suctorial disc to attach to the vertical surfaces and slowly make their way up. In British Columbia spawning is in June to the end of July, while in Oregon, it begins in May at water temperatures of 10-15 °C and continues through July. Fecundity, 98,300-238,400 eggs/female in Oregon populations from Clear, Trout, and Cow creeks, respectively, in the John Day, Molalla, and Umpqua river basins. Death of spawners follows 3-36 days after spawning. Eggs are eaten by two species of fish in the Umatilla River, Oregon (Ref.89241). Rarely consumed as food; prepared fresh or smoked (Ref. 6885). Sometimes processed into meal (Ref. 27436). The Native American tribes of the mid-Columbia River Plateau have an ongoing tradition dating back hundreds of years of harvesting Pacific Lamprey. The adults are caught either by hand or dipnet in areas where they congregate prior to spawning. They are prepared for human consumption either by drying or roasting. Caloric values for Pacific Lamprey range from 5.9 to 6.3 kcal/g wet weight. Their oil is also extracted and used for medicinal purposes. Ammocoetes are used as bait for introduced Micropterus dolomieu in the John Day River, Oregon. In 1812, Americans of European descent obtained Pacific Lamprey from the Umatilla tribe of Oregon for the purposes of consumption. In the early 1900s, fur trappers utilized Pacific Lamprey as bait for coyotes. A fishery for adult lamprey has existed at Willamette Falls on the Willamette River, Oregon at least since 1913. That year, 24.5 metric tons were harvested and ground into fishmeal for young hatchery salmon. Between 1943 and 1949, 740 metric tons in total were harvested and used for vitamin oil, food for livestock, poultry, and fishmeal. In 1994, about 1.8 metric tons were exported to Europe for human consumption. The North Carolina Biological Supply House regularly collects adults from this locality for use as teaching material (Ref.89241). The effects of Pacific lamprey attacks on commercial species needs further studies (Ref. 6885).
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Importance

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fisheries: subsistence fisheries; bait: occasionally
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Pacific lamprey

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Entosphenus tridentatus at Bonneville Dam in Washington

The Pacific lamprey (Entosphenus tridentatus) is an anadromous parasitic lamprey from the Pacific Coast of North America and Asia. It is a member of the Petromyzontidae family. The Pacific lamprey is also known as the three-tooth lamprey and tridentate lamprey.

Description

Pacific lamprey digging a nest (red)
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Pacific lampreys passing through the Bonneville Dam

Pacific lampreys grow to about 80 cm (31 in) as adults. They are anadromous and semelparous. They have slender, elongated bodies with two dorsal fins arising far back on the body. The anal fins are rudimentary and the lower lobe of the caudal fin is larger than the upper lobe and both lobes are continuous with the dorsal fin and the anal fin. Adults living in the sea are a bluish-black or greenish colour above and pale below, but those in fresh water are brown. This species is distinguished by having three (or occasionally two) sharp teeth on the supraoral bar above the mouth and three sharp points on each lateral plate. The Pacific lamprey are often found at sea or often far offshore. At sea, depth: near surface to 1,508 m (4,946 ft) [3]

Biology

Although the adult and juvenile stages are more noticeable, lampreys spend the majority of their lives as larvae (ammocoetes). Ammocoetes live in fresh water for many years (usually 3–7 years, but at least one species has been recorded for +17 years). Ammocoetes are filter feeders that draw overlying water into burrows they dig into soft bottom substrates. After the larval period, the ammocoetes undergo metamorphosis and take on the juvenile/adult body morphology. Juveniles/adults have a jawless, sucker-like mouth that allows them to become parasitic on other fish and sperm whales, attaching themselves with their suckers and feeding on blood and body fluids. The adults live at least one to two years in the ocean and then return to fresh water to spawn. Whether Pacific lampreys return to their natal streams or seek spawning areas based on other cues is not known. They typically spawn in similar habitat to Pacific salmon and trout. Lampreys construct a nest (redd) in small gravel and females can lay over 100,000 eggs, which are fertilized externally by the male. After spawning, the adults usually die within four days. Also, like salmon, the Pacific lamprey does not feed while migrating to spawn.[3]

Cultural use and food

Pacific lampreys are an important ceremonial food for Native American tribes in the Columbia River basin and the Yurok people and Karuk of the Klamath River Wiyot people of the Eel River in northern California.[4] Pacific lamprey numbers in the Columbia River have greatly declined with the construction of the Columbia River hydropower system. Almost no harvest opportunity for Native Americans remains in the Columbia River and its tributaries except for a small annual harvest at Willamette Falls on the Willamette River (tributary to the Columbia River). The Yurok and Wiyot snag lampreys in the surf at the mouth of the Klamath River, often at night, using hand-carved wooden "hooks". It is dangerous work.[4] Because lampreys are fatty and have a very high caloric count, tribes like the Wiyot and Yurok have traditionally fed them to babies and young children. The high caloric count also make lampreys an important piece of the river ecosystem, as other animals also rely on them.[5] The documentary film, The Lost Fish, chronicles how current tribal communities are actively studying, breeding, and working to restore lamprey and lamprey habitats to the waterways of the Pacific Northwest.[6]

Ecological issues

Pacific lamprey numbers have greatly decreased due to human infrastructure. Damming rivers, channelization, and declines in water quality have impacted pacific lamprey habitat and their ability to live.[7] However, restoration of rivers and streams in Southern California has re-established the fish in portions of their historic southern range. The Pacific lamprey recolonized the Santa Margarita River in San Diego County in August 2019 for the first time since 1940, the furthest south the species has currently recolonized, 260 miles (420 km) south of the previous recolonization of San Luis Obispo Creek in San Luis Obispo in 2017.[8] The Santa Margarita River recolonization has been attributed to a rebuilt weir and new fishway at Camp Pendleton which allowed the lamprey to find passage into the river.[9]

The Pacific lamprey is not the same fish as the sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) that has invaded the Great Lakes via the Erie Canal.

References

  1. ^ Van Der Laan, Richard; Eschmeyer, William N.; Fricke, Ronald (11 November 2014). "Family-group names of Recent fishes". Zootaxa. 3882 (1): 1–230. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.3882.1.1. PMID 25543675.
  2. ^ Froese, R.; Pauly, D. (2017). "Petromyzontidae". FishBase version (02/2017). Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  3. ^ a b Froese, Rainer; Pauly, Daniel (eds.) (2012). "Entosphenus tridentatus" in FishBase. April 2012 version.
  4. ^ a b Patricia Leigh Brown (April 15, 2015). "Hooking a Slippery Prize Where the Klamath River Meets the Pacific". The New York Times. Retrieved April 15, 2015.
  5. ^ Wiyot Tribe Natural Resources Department and Stillwater Sciences. 2016. Wiyot Tribe Pacific Lamprey adaptive management plan framework. Prepared by Wiyot Tribe Natural Resources Department, Table Bluff Reservation, Loleta, California and Stillwater Sciences, Arcata, California for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Sacramento, California.
  6. ^ Freshwaters Illustrated (2013). "The Lost Fish". Freshwaters Illustrated.
  7. ^ Close, David A.; Fitzpatrick, Martin S.; Li, Hiram W. (2002). "The Ecological and Cultural Importance of a Species at Risk of Extinction, Pacific Lamprey". Fisheries. 27 (7): 19–25. doi:10.1577/1548-8446(2002)0272.0.CO;2. ISSN 1548-8446.
  8. ^ Stewart B. Reid, Damon H. Goodman (March 3, 2020). "Natural Recolonization by Pacific Lampreys in a Southern California Coastal Drainage: Implications for Their Biology and Conservation". North American Journal of Fisheries Management. 40: 335–341. Retrieved January 27, 2022.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  9. ^ John Heil (January 7, 2022). "Pacific lamprey found in Santa Margarita River, for the first time in decades". U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Pacific Southwest Region. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
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Pacific lamprey: Brief Summary

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 src= Entosphenus tridentatus at Bonneville Dam in Washington

The Pacific lamprey (Entosphenus tridentatus) is an anadromous parasitic lamprey from the Pacific Coast of North America and Asia. It is a member of the Petromyzontidae family. The Pacific lamprey is also known as the three-tooth lamprey and tridentate lamprey.

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