The Columbia Basin Bulletin
More lamprey have been counted at Threemile Falls Dam on northeast Oregon’s Umatilla River in five days this year than in seven months in the previous two years.
Estimates of as many as 300 lampreys, fish that sometimes are erroneously referred to as eels, have crossed over lamprey passage structures or climbed the concrete of Three Mile Falls Dam, according to Aaron Jackson, the lamprey project leader for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.
The Umatillas now have four such adult lamprey passage structures, which were paid for by Bonneville Power Administration, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, that provide new passage routes at low-elevation diversions within the Umatilla River.
“This is our highest return since the program began in 2000,” Jackson said. “It looks like we shattered the old records within a few days.”