The Eel River in northern California is home to the Wiyot Tribe, a tribe renewing its traditional role as environmental steward. The river’s modern name comes from Europeans who mistakenly mistook the river’s abundant Pacific lamprey (Entosphenus tridentatus) for eels. Stillwater Sciences is partnering with the Tribe on projects that will bridge data gaps to better understand the presence and distribution of two struggling species, Pacific lamprey and green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris), and help identify the limiting factors that prevent them from thriving. Stillwater has assisted by securing funding, developing the study plans, and leading project implementation.
The first project is funded by a federal Tribal Wildlife grant and includes lamprey (gou’daw) surveys to determine and characterize the presence and distribution of ammocoetes (the worm-like, larval stage of the lamprey), as well as passage and habitat assessments.
The second project is a three-year study of Eel River ba’m, the green sturgeon, funded in part by a National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Species Recovery grant. Stillwater’s unique study of the threatened green sturgeon will provide a more accurate assessment of the status and origin of green sturgeon in the Eel River using DIDSON technology, biotelemetry, and genetic analysis.
Read more about the recovery and the significance of these species, both traditionally and ecologically: