Lamprey watch aims to raise awareness of lampreys in Scottish waters. We wish to encourage anyone with access to suitable rivers to look out for these fascinating creatures during the spawning season (typically May - July) and submit simple records of any observations using our new online portal.

Lamprey watch

Lamprey watch aims to raise awareness of lampreys in Scottish waters. We wish to encourage anyone with access to suitable rivers to look out for these fascinating creatures during the spawning season (typically May -July) and submit records of any observations using our online portal.

We would like outdoors enthusiasts and other river users such as anglers, canoeists, hikers, dog-walkers or picnickers to locate suitable stretches of habitat and spend a little time watching for lampreys.

Lampreys are a very primitive type of fish with elongated eel-like bodies and a large disc-like mouth.  They have unusual life styles.  Their larvae are blind and burrow in riverine sediments where they live for many years feeding on organic detritus.  They eventually transform into adults, with fully developed eyes and a large toothed sucker and usually migrate to sea, where they feed parasitically on other fish – rasping their flesh and sucking blood. After a number of years at sea they return to rivers to breed and die.


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