OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

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Saving the Pacific Lamprey

OSU biologists were among the first to recognize the decline of these fish and are working urgently with researchers around the world to understand the needs of this species.

The 400 million year old Pacific lamprey is sliding toward extinction. Northwest tribes, for whom the lamprey is a sacred “first food,” are funding research at Oregon State that could bring these ancient fish back from the brink. Biologists at OSU’s Department of Fisheries and Wildlife were among the first to recognize the decline about two decades ago. The scientists are working urgently with researchers throughout the region to understand the life cycle, habitat, and reproductive needs of these fish, which, like salmon, spawn in rivers and migrate to the ocean before returning to the tributaries of the Willamette River Basin, their last remaining stronghold. 

Core Message: 
Internationally recognized public research university
America's natural resources university
College: 
Agricultural Sciences