Upstream migration of Pacific lampreys in the John Day River, Oregon: Behavior, timing, and habitat use

Northwest Science



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Adult Pacific lamprey migration and habitat preferences for over-winter holding and spawning, and larval rearing in tributaries to the Columbia River are not well understood. The John Day River is one such tributary where larval and adult stages of this species have been documented, and its free-flowing character provided the opportunity to study migration of Pacific lampreys unimpeded by passage constraints. Forty-two adult Pacific lampreys were captured in the John Day River near its mouth during their upstream migration. Pacific lampreys were surgically implanted with radio transmitters and released onsite, and tracked by fixed-site, aerial, and terrestrial telemetry methods for nearly one year. Adults moved upstream exclusively at night, with a mean rate of 11.1 ?? 6.3 km/day. They halted upstream migration by September, and held a single position for approximately six months in the lateral margins of riffles and glides, using boulders for cover. More than half of Pacific lampreys resumed migration in March before ending movement in early May. Pacific lampreys that resumed migration in spring completed a median of 87% of their upstream migration before over-winter holding. Upon completing migration. Pacific lampreys briefly held position before beginning downstream movement at the end of May. Though not directly observed, halting migration and movement downstream were likely the result of spawning and death. Gains in adult Pacific lamprey passage through the Columbia River hydrosystem and tributaries may be made by improvements that would expedite migration during spring and summer and increase the quantity and variety of cover and refuge opportunities. ?? 2005 by the Northwest Scientific Association. All rights reserved.

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Upstream migration of Pacific lampreys in the John Day River, Oregon: Behavior, timing, and habitat use
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Northwest Science
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Northwest Science
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