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Public can watch lamprey released on Saturday in Prosser

Lamprey, an eel-like fish, will be released into the Yakima River Saturday.
Lamprey, an eel-like fish, will be released into the Yakima River Saturday. Tri-City Herald file

The public is invited to watch a release of Pacific lamprey, an eel-like fish, into the Yakima River at Prosser on Saturday.

The fish have sharply declined in the Pacific Northwest in modern times after surviving since prehistoric times.

They are an important subsistence food for tribes and historically have helped preserve salmon populations. When the fish were plentiful, sea lions and other predators fed on them, allowing more salmon to survive.

At the Saturday event from 10 a.m. to noon, the Yakama Nation Fisheries plans stories by tribal elders, educational stations staffed by biologists and a rap song dedicated to lamprey.

The lamprey will be released from the Wine Country Road bridge. Parking will be available at a church parking lot at 505 W. Buena Vista Road or at Les Schwab, 310 Wine Country Road.

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