Regular readers will know that we often visit the topic of fish ladders, as it is an unusual subject, especially when we consider the parallels between how fish and people use ladders.  Both are used to reach higher levels that cannot be accessed without help, both are used seasonally (with the exception of those who use ladders for their job, many domestic ladder users only actually use their ladder for Christmas decorations or spring cleaning/decorating) and in both cases, some ladders are designed with a specific user or obstacle in mind. The Pacific Lamprey is one of those breeds of fish that does need a specific ladder. Scientists at the Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River, working with the US Army Corps of Engineers, have been modifying the existing fish ladders (designed originally with salmon in mind) to better suit the lamprey, which are not as strong swimmers as the other species in the river. While the lamprey is not a strong swimmer against the current, they are good jumpers and use their mouths to suction against surfaces and pull them along and up.  With these abilities in mind, the engineers have changed the ladder entrances to draw lamprey in and are tweaking the passage of the fish ladder to provide the surfaces and slow corners the lamprey need.  With the knowledge from this project, the team hopes that other fish ladders can be modified to allow use by lamprey species. Native American tribes hold the lamprey in great regard, so it is important to restore and preserve stocks of this fish for cultural reasons as well as environmental ones.  Along with the fish ladder changes, some tribes are involved in raising junior lamprey to restock the river system and encourage older fish to return to their spawning grounds via the improved ladder.  With $50 million to spend, hopes are high that the Pacific Lamprey will return to its native habitat and with the input of the US Army and Native American tribes, it could be a possibility soon. Don't forget for the best ladders on the internet stop by our main website