Talk on Lamprey Conservation

May 4, 2017 - 6:30 PM
Central Lincoln PUD Community Room
2129 N. Coast Hwy
Newport, OR

 Pacific lamprey.  Photo courtesy of USFWS.
Pacific lamprey. Photo courtesy of USFWS.

The future of ancient creatures will be under consideration when the MidCoast Watersheds Council Conservation offers a presentation on “Conservation planning for three lampreys of coastal Oregon:  Western Brook Lamprey, Western River Lamprey, and Pacific Lamprey.”  The talk takes place 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 4, at the Central Lincoln PUD Community Room (2129 N. Coast Hwy) in Newport.  The event is free and open to the public.

The speaker will be Ben Clemens, Statewide Lamprey Coordinator with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW).  With a PhD in Fisheries from Oregon State University, Clemens has worked on projects related to juvenile Chinook Salmon in the Columbia River estuary, lamprey biology, and led ODFW’s fish ageing laboratory. In his current position, Clemens is working on conservation plans for Oregon lampreys, liaising with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on their Pacific Lamprey Conservation Initiative, and identifying areas needing research, monitoring, and evaluation to help fill information gaps critical to informing conservation planning and actions for Oregon lampreys.

Lamprey species first appear in the fossil record over 450 million years ago. Myth and legend follow these fish, well-known and deeply valued to Native Americans in the region, but much depleted and seeming mysterious and secretive in the modern world.  This presentation will provide an opportunity to learn more and separate myth from reality.