Lampreys are Falling from the Skies in Fairbanks

Arctic Lamprey, Yukon River near Eagle. Photo by Parker Bradley

Arctic Lamprey, Yukon River near Eagle. Photo by Parker Bradley

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is offering an explanation for the unusual sightings of Arctic Lampreys found in unusual locations in the city of Fairbanks.

According to the department, after examining the Lampreys found around town, they have observed puncture holes and other marks on the eel-like fish that leads them to believe that the Lamprey are being dropped by seagulls overflying the city.

Arctic Lamprey, unlike their Pacific counterparts use the Chena River to spawn after spending there adult life in the ocean. In all probability, the gulls are picking them out of the river and accidentally dropping them when the fish squirms from the bird’s bills.

Arctic Lamprey range from South-central Alaska to the Arctic. They are not found in Southeast Alaska, the ADF&G website states.

ADF&G said on their Facebook page that one of the four Lamprey was found alive in the Fairbanks Value Village parking lot, while another was found on the lawn of a local resident.

ADF&G says that they know little about the local Lamprey, and if you do find one around town, to report it to them at 459-7206.