Oft maligned and misunderstood, lamprey suffer from the negative public image that is reserved for most parasites. However, declines in lamprey populations (and the fisheries they support) have fueled new interest in lamprey conservation and have resulted in a 2003 petition to list four lamprey species in the Pacific Northwest. Pacific lamprey, Lampetra tridentata, embark on the same heroic spawning migrations that inspire awe among salmon enthusiasts. In the Columbia River drainage they historically migrated hundreds of kilometers to spawning areas upstream of the now impassable Chief Joseph and Hells Canyon dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers. Using radio transmitters, spawning migrations of adult lamprey through the Columbia River hydropower corridor were tracked in 1997-2001. Results indicated that lamprey delay at lower Columbia River dams and exhibit poor passage efficiency relative to salmonids. Interestingly, factors that are correlated with delay in salmon (e.g., flow and spill levels) do not affect lamprey in the same way. Some features of the fishways, which were designed for salmonid passage, are obstacles to adult lamprey. We identified specific structures and operations that hinder lamprey passage at the lower Columbia River dams. In addition, we designed and have begun testing lamprey-specific bypass devices that may be used to aid lamprey passage at key locations in the fishway system.
1982 BA in Biology Kalamazoo College Kalamazoo, MI 1987 PhD in Zoology NC State University Raleigh, NC 1988-90 Post-doc w/Tom Quinn University of WA Seattle, WA 1990-2000 Research Faculty University of NC Wilmington, NC 2000-present Fisheries Biologist NOAA Fisheries Seattle, WA
My research interests initially focused on the effects of environmental variables on fish physiology and behavior. During a post-doc at UW, I was introduced to the world of fish telemetry and from that time forward I have used this tool to investigate fish behavior in a variety of settings. I am particularly interested in the migration behavior and energetics of anadromous fishes as they transition from marine to freshwater environments. I am currently in the Migrational Behavior Program at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center and participate in a very large radiotelemetry project to assess passage of adult salmonids and lamprey through the Columbia River hydropower corridor. My other research interests include documentation of green sturgeon habitat use, evaluation of English sole home range, and the examination of homing in spring chinook salmon.