Save the Sucker! and they don't mean you. My comments are in [red brackets]. The links, highlights and research are my contribution, too.
From yesterday's Moscow-Pullman Daily News:
University of Idaho researchers investigate decline of one of the world's earliest fishes.
University of Idaho faculty member Christopher Peery, an assistant research professor in the College of Natural Resources, and the research team in the Fish Ecology Research Lab in the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources received funding totaling $800,000.00 for several studies [appeasement] investigating factors that may be limiting migrations and productivity for Columbia River populations. This work is being funded by the Portland and Walla Walla Districts of the U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers and by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. [Actually, that would be you, the taxpayer. Funny how they portray themselves as private entities, hoping that you will forget that it is your money that they are spending so freely.]
Pacific lamprey are native to this area. [They are also native to the entire Pacific Rim, including Japan and Korea] Like steelhead and salmon, they migrate to the ocean as juveniles and return to spawn as adults, and so must deal with a river system highly modified by dams, habitat loss and now global climate change. Lamprey represent an ecological link to the earliest fishes, having evolved 450 million years ago, or about 400 million years before salmon appeared. [Never mind that the fish have adapted to 400 million years of global climate change. They were probably native to the Mohave Desert and what is now the Grand Canyon. It's just that Al Gore wasn't available then to let them know how endangered they were.]
Ecologically, lamprey are an important food source to other fish and birds as juveniles, and for sturgeon and sea lions during the adult migrations. They also are an important part of cultural heritage for Native American tribes. They are still harvested from the Willamette Falls near Portland, Ore., for ceremonial feasts, when numbers permit.
Results of these and related studies will be available at the University of Idaho Fish Ecology Research Lab Web site, http://www.cnr.uidaho.edu/uiferl/Lamprey.htm.