Controls on Habitat for Native Lampreys in the Umpqua River Basin

Science Center Objects

Native lampreys are culturally significant fishes for tribal communities in Oregon. As such, the USGS has begun working with the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians to study changes that may be affecting habitat for native Pacific and western brook lampreys in the Umpqua River basin.


The study will be an important step forward to providing the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians with a comprehensive and interdisciplinary assessment of the habitat conditions for culturally significant native Pacific and Western Brook lampreys in the Umpqua River basin. The study brings together the hydrology and geomorphic expertise of the USGS Oregon Water Science Center and fish biology expertise from USGS Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center to explore the key geomorphic controls on the fine sediment habitats supporting the larval lamprey life stage and potential overlap of native lampreys with non-native Smallmouth Bass. Findings from these efforts will be applied to identify best management practices and conservation strategies to sustain these culturally significant fishes.



The main objectives for this study include:

  • Identifying potential burrowing habitat for larval lampreys and potential sympatry with Smallmouth Bass at the riverscape level.
  • Assessing the reach-scale geomorphic controls on larval lamprey habitat in tributaries to the mainstem Umpqua River. 
  • Findings from this study will support the Tribe, as well as partner organizations, as they develop management and habitat restoration strategies to protect and sustain culturally significant food resources and Tribal culture now and into the future. 
Little Wolf Creek

Geomorphic and lamprey survey reach along Little Wolf Creek of the Umpqua River Basin (Credit: Krista Jones)