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Morrison Creek Lamprey (Lampetra richardsoni var. marifuga)

One of the little and elusive Morrison Creek Lamprey. For us old folks 17 cm equals about 7 in. Photo by K Inman

Dr Dick Beamish and his team were studying the Morrison Creek Lamprey, otherwise known as Lampetra richarsoni var. marifuga (just marifuga to its friends), in Morrison Creek again as there is almost more unknown than known about this unique little fish.  He found considerably fewer lamprey in the creek than 25 years ago but more analysis will need to be done to determine whether this is because the collection locations, conditions and methods were different or whether there really are fewer lamprey around.  He discovered that most of the marifuga seemed to be in the vicinity of Arden Road and appeared to be moving around in the creek.  However, due to their small size these lamprey have difficulty handling higher velocities or small vertical drops that would not bother the salmon or trout that share the creek.  We need to be very careful about any changes we make to the creek as we still don’t know where these little guys spend the time during their year as adults.

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