Just in time for Halloween, five Pacific Lamprey arrived at the MK Nature Center from the Nez Perce Fisheries Program.
Yes, they do suck blood! But they do so only while in the ocean. These Lamprey will be overwintering at the Nature Center, and like all Lamprey, are done eating after leaving the ocean.
Native to Idaho, these anadromous fish (born in fresh water, migrate to the ocean, and return to fresh water to spawn), are the "less talked about" of our anadromous species, but are amazing nonetheless.
In modern times, Lamprey struggle with their migration back to their spawning waters, so the Nez Perce Tribe collects them at the two lower Columbia River dams and lets them overwinter in Idaho in holding tanks. In the spring, as water warms, the Tribal Fisheries Programs releases them in their native waters and the Lamprey do the rest!
Pacific Lamprey are an important part of Idaho's ecology and for the Nez Perce Tribe, these fish are an important and historical food source.
The MK Nature Center is honored to receive five Pacific Lamprey from the Tribe for public display. The Lamprey are located inside our Visitor Center lobby, so be sure to visit T-F 9 am-5 pm or on weekends 11am- 5pm. (After November 5th, Visitor Center hours change to T-F 10am - 5pm and weekends 12 pm-4pm).