Movements of Juvenile Pacific Lamprey (Entosphenus tridentatus) in the Yakima and Columbia Rivers, Washington, 2018—A Pilot Study Using Acoustic Telemetry

Open-File Report 2019-1058
Prepared in cooperation with Yakama Nation Fisheries, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, McNary Fisheries Compensation Committee, and the Bureau of Reclamation
By: , and 



Telemetry has been an invaluable tool to improve our understanding of adult Pacific Lamprey (Entosphenus tridentatus) movements and to guide management approaches to protect and restore this species of concern. Juvenile and larval lamprey, however, are much smaller than adults, and have not been monitored with telemetry because available transmitters have traditionally been too large. With funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory developed a prototype micro-transmitter of appropriate size for use in small fish such as juvenile lampreys and eels. Through a collaborative research approach, we used these prototype transmitters to do a pilot level evaluation of juvenile lamprey (macrophthalmia) movements in the Yakima and Columbia Rivers in 2018. Our project monitored tagged lamprey using acoustic monitoring arrays installed and maintained for juvenile salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) migration studies done by our partners. The study was done in the lower Yakima River, Washington, from river mile 111 to the river mouth, and in the Columbia River, from the Yakima River mouth to Camas, Washington, downstream of Bonneville Dam. We released four groups of tagged lamprey from May 9 to 15, 2018. Two groups were released at the upper site (located at the State Route 24 bridge, about 4.5 river miles upstream of Wapato Dam), and two groups were released at the lower site (about 1.7 miles upstream of the Yakima River mouth). We detected 95.6 percent of the tagged lamprey, with more individuals detected in the Columbia River than in the Yakima River. Lamprey arrived at Bonneville Dam in an average of 8.0–9.6 days from the upper site (300 river miles) and in an average of 6.5 days from the lower site (193 river miles). Lamprey moved through the study area at an average rate of 30–35 miles per day and generally remained at each detection site for less than about 20 minutes. Most lamprey (63 percent) arrived at detection sites during periods of darkness, but some travel occurred during daylight and transitional light periods.

Suggested Citation

Liedtke , T.L., Lampman, R.T., Deng, D.Z., Beals, T.E., Porter, M.S., Hansen, A.C., Kock, T.J., Tomka, R.G., and Monk, P., 2019, Movements of juvenile Pacific Lamprey (Entosphenus tridentatus) in the Yakima and Columbia Rivers, Washington, 2018—A pilot study using acoustic telemetry: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019-1058, 29 p.,

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Results and Discussion
  • Additional Discussion
  • Acknowledgments
  • References Cited
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Movements of juvenile Pacific Lamprey (Entosphenus tridentatus) in the Yakima and Columbia Rivers, Washington, 2018—A pilot study using acoustic telemetry
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2019-1058
DOI 10.3133/ofr20191058
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Western Fisheries Research Center
Description vi, 29 p.
Country United States
State Washington
Other Geospatial Yakima River, Columbia River
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details