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Smallmouth Bass Consume Larval Lamprey in Elk Creek, Oregon

Smallmouth bass were introduced into the Umpqua River in southwest Oregon in the early 1960s. To evaluate the potential effects of smallmouth bass on larvae of Pacific and brook lampreys, researchers sampled diets of 303 smallmouth bass in reach of Elk Creek, a tributary to the lower Umpqua River. They combined information on smallmouth bass diet and energy density with other physical parameters in a bioenergetics model to estimate consumption of larval lamprey. Larval lampreys were found in 6.2% of diet samples of smallmouth bass. When extrapolated to the estimated number of fish in the study area, models estimated 1911 larval lampreys were consumed over the two month study period in Elk Creek. Although the precision of these estimates is low, this magnitude of consumption suggests that smallmouth bass may negatively affect larval lamprey populations.

Schultz, L.D., Heck, M.P., Kowalski, B.M., Eagles-Smith, C.A., Coates, K.C., Dunham, J.B., 2017, A bioenergetics assessment of consumption of larval lamprey by Smallmouth Bass in Elk Creek, Oregon: North American Journal of Fisheries Management, v. 37, no. 4, p. 714-723, https://doi.org/10.1080/02755947.2017.1317677[Details]

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