Cow Creek Umpqua Tribe Partners with U.S. Geological Survey on Lamprey Workshop

The Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians(CCBUTI) partnered with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to conduct research into lamprey presence and habitat surveys in four different creeks over several years. This information confirmed a model of lamprey habitat locations, based on water temperature, sediment load, and stream gradient, which was then presented at the Lamprey Restoration Workshop hosted by the Tribe and USGS.

CCBUTI’s Natural Resources staff worked with Jasan Dunham, the Supervisory Research Ecologist at the Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, and Krista Jones, Hydrologist at the USGS Oregon Water Science Center. The Tribe provided effort and funding from the North Umpqua Hydro Mitigation Fund to assist with on-the-ground surveys, planning and coordinating the Lamprey Restoration Workshop, and writing the summary report. The Tribe’s Fisheries Program selected the survey watersheds and survey points, and set up 100-meter-long areas for the work.

The surveys collected lamprey using an electrofisher, and filtered water through a specialized pump to collect environmental DNA to confirm the results of the electrofishing. For the habitat portion of the survey, patches of fine sediment and sand (prime locations for juvenile lamprey) were measured for size, depth, and position.

“This report is important because it helps restoration practitioners identify which issues are impacting lamprey, and what actions could be used to mitigate these impacts,” said Travis Mackie, CCBUTI Fisheries Biologist.

Lamprey, one of the Tribe’s first food sources, have significant cultural importance for CCBUTI, and have been the focus of restoration and conservation efforts for many years as the species declines due to environmental impacts from human activity.

Click here to read the full report from the Lamprey Restoration Workshop.