RE: NANFA-- Agnathans are ___

Jay DeLong (
Thu, 20 Jan 2000 08:16:15 -0800

> I figured well, agnathans
> aren't a fish species of the Pacific Northwest, so why bother,

> So, what are Agnathans anyway?

About 4 years ago several of us got together for a day of collecting a few
minutes north of Seattle. A NANFA member who lived nearby, Louise
Christensen-Zak, had picked out a few sites for us. We first went to a golf
course pond called Ballinger Lake in Edmonds. It was muddy and deep, and we
worked the shoreline with seines. It was kinda scary with golf balls
whizzing overhead. Zoom! We got pumpkinseeds, threespine sticklebacks, a
sculpin (Cottus asper--the reticulate sculpin-- I think) and a small chinook
salmon. We then drove to a small river called the Sammamish River close to
Louise's home in Bothell, and we sampled a spot where a swift stream called
Bear Creek flowed into the river. We found all sorts of neat fish there--
torrent sculpins, peamouth, mountain whitefish, cutthroat trout, a carcass
of a huge largescale sucker, and others I can't recall.

Now for the Agnathans. Our last stop was a calm shallow little creek
practically in Louise's backyard. We ran a seine and captured a school of
juvenile coho salmon. Then someone shouted "Come and look at this!" She
had been standing in the ankle deep water and noticed movement in the water.
There were 3 western brook lampreys preparing to spawn there. They were
cleaning a small area of gravel by picking up tiny rocks and moving them out
of the way to expose the finer sediments in which to lay their eggs. The
substrate was dark-colored except for the tiny area they had exposed. It
was only a few inches in diameter. That was really neat, and Louise was
amazed that these were in her backyard.

Jay DeLong
Olympia, WA

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