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The Lower Nehalem Watershed Council Speaker Series has moved online for the 2020-21 season. On Nov. 12, the Lower Nehalem Watershed Council will host Benjamin Clemens, the statewide lamprey coordinator at Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), for his presentation “Connecting Oregon Lampreys with Oregonians.”

Who wants to talk about lamprey? Clemens does.

Clemens said, “Lamprey are a fascinating group of jawless, boneless, fishes that have endured for at least 400 million years! 10 species of lamprey, about 25 percent of all lamprey species, live in Oregon! Pacific Lamprey were harvested and used by Native Americans for culture, ceremony, medicine, and food.”

Clemens also notes that, because there are so many species of lamprey in Oregon waters, they have diverse impacts on and needs in freshwater or marine habitats. Of the 10 Oregon lamprey species, five status assessments have been conducted. Every assessed lamprey species has been ranked on the state’s Sensitive Species List, making them Oregon Conservation Strategy species.

Ben’s presentation will help people get to know Oregon’s lamprey, learn about their habits and ecology, and how those intersect with local communities.

Benjamin Clemens is the statewide lamprey coordinator for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). He works at the intersection of research, policy, and management to benefit Oregon’s native lampreys and human use of them. He has worked for over 13 years at Oregon State University and ODFW in various roles conducting smolt monitoring, smolt survival studies, leading the ODFW aging lab, and conducting lamprey life history and ecology research.

Clemens was a former president of the Oregon Chapter of the American Fisheries Society, and was chosen to participate in ODFW’s Leadership Development Program. He earned a BS in Biology from Central Michigan University, an MS in Zoology from the University of Guelph and a Doctorate in Fisheries Science from Oregon State University.

Event Information: This event is FREE and open to the public. Find more information on the speaker series on the Facebook page (

Date & Location:

Date: 7 p.m. on Nov. 12


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