Monday, April 17, 2006

Lamprey Spawning Site

You see some pretty amazing things when you're out and about fishing. On Saturday I came across a dozen or so pairs of lamprey, apparently spawning in this gravel/cobble bar. I sat and watched for a while as they picked up stones with mouths and moved them out of their little hollows... used tails to fan out sediment, and grasped one another in the throes of enthralling intercourse (or something close to it I think)! They'd pick up rocks, fan with tails, then suddenly use their mouths to attach/grab to one another and roll around violently for a few seconds - not sure just what was happening. They were so involved I could actually grab them with bare hands. The one that I actually picked up (bleeping tourist) tried to latch on to my person (I deserved it)... kind of strange - my reflex was to fling it back into the water. I believe these are brook lamprey - a native specie, but I'll check with DNR for confirmation. Their "nests" were approximately 8-10 inches in diameter, and they were placed in a relatively well-oxygenated part of the flow - see pic [can't load picture right now - will try later] - you can see the shallow semi-riffle area just out from the woody debris. This was very interesting - a highlight of the day. Last year JB and I found lamprey in the Root River... one was actually attached to a silver redhorse.


Blogger John Montana said...

i can't believe you touched one of those things...yuck!

1:26 PM  
Blogger amanda said...

That's pretty interesting, But I'm with john montana, Yuck! You're really brave touching one of those things! Lamprey and eel like things are teh only tings other than snakes that really creep me out!
As for the possible mating -
Funny story with Mason & Eric's frog catching over teh weekend... they came and told me "Mom, we caught 3 frogs and one double frog!!" Here I was afraid it was mutated one like we here about, but when I chekcked it out it was just a littel pair doing they're thing, working at laying some eggs. The boys checked it out in one of our frog books and we found a similar picture of the male and felmale "hugging" to make frog families. The stuff these kdis learn...

2:44 PM  
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