Wiyots Begin to Restore "Stone Licker" Species
- It's not called the Eel River for nothing. According to "1500 California Place Names," back in 1850, Confederate General Josiah Gregg traded a frying pan to a group of North Coast Native Americans in exchange for a large amount of Lampreys which Gregg thought to be Eels. A name was born.
Lampreys were bountiful then. But now the species struggles with population decline along the 200-mile-long Eel River.
Steve Coleman, environmental director for the Wiyot Tribe, hopes a $200,000 grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will help
the species as the Tribe launches its Eel River Lamprey Restoration
Project. Funding will support an assessment to identify habitat and
biological constraints affecting Lamprey survival.
"It's a species that hasn't been studied well," said
Coleman of the Lamprey. "There is still not a lot known about their
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