Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Lamprey Summit III

Lamprey Summit III was held on June 20-21, 2012 at the World Forestry Center in Portland, Oregon. The Fish and Wildlife Service co-hosted the Summit with the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission.

200 people attended the Summit. They represented tribes from the Columbia River Basin, Coastal Oregon and Washington, Puget Sound, and California; state agencies; federal agencies; public utility districts; NGOs; and universities. Speakers shared recent progress they have made in conservation efforts for Pacific Lamprey such as status assessments, passage improvements, and conservation plan development.

During the Summit, many tribal elders spoke of the importance of lamprey and water to their people.  The following quote is from Wilbur Slockish, Jr., hereditary chief of the Klickitat Tribe, a part of the Yakama Nation.

"From the beginning of time, the eel has had a place with our people. The tail was what we used to break the teeth of our babies – chewing for teething. The oils provided vitamins to their bodies to make them healthy. It’s not just an eel disappearing; we need to link everything that happens to the water because water is the giver of life."

A Conservation Agreement was signed by many tribes, states and agencies. The Agreement is a voluntary effort by the signers and supporters to work collaboratively to conserve Pacific Lamprey.

Now that the Summit is over and the Conservation Agreement has been signed, the Fish and Wildlife Service is working with our partners to develop regional implementation plans for Pacific Lamprey. Each region will determine what conservation actions and research is needed in their watersheds to conserve Pacific Lamprey. Actions such as improving lamprey passage over dams and culverts, restoring degraded stream habitat, and improving water quality are on the list of needed actions in many regions. Monitoring lamprey populations by doing distribution surveys is an example of a research need. We hope by working together with our partners to complete these actions and research needs, we can ensure long term persistence of Pacific Lamprey throughout its United States range.

Submitted by Christina Luzier

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you folks care about lamprey.