While lamprey, with their eel-like bodies and suction cup mouths full of sharp teeth and vampire-like feeding habits might seem scary, they're actually not dangerous to humans at all. In fact, they're a very important part of the ecosystems they live in. These anadromous fish provide marine-derived nutrients to the stream systems they migrate into, and the protein-dense nutrition they provided for Native Americans may have also provided a buffer for salmon populations. We explore these amazing, older-than-the-dinosaurs fish with ODFW's Statewide Lamprey Coordinator Ben Clemens.
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