Between now and July is the time to spot Lamprey spawning if you are out and about on our rivers and burns. The Tweed Foundation would be interested to learn of any sightings of these fish to help map their distribution in the Tweed catchment.
All three species of Lamprey are found in many locations throughout the Tweed catchment, and the Tweed is a Special Area of Conservation for Lamprey, as well as the Atlantic Salmon.
When to Look for Lamprey
Spawning takes place in spring for Brook and River Lampreys, around April and May whereas Sea Lampreys spawn in summer time between May-July. When river levels are low and during periods of dry weather, spawning Lampreys can be spotted from the bank without any need to enter the water.
Where will they be
Lampreys like large rivers with clear fast flowing water and will migrate as far upstream as they can before spawning and so are often found just downstream of barriers to their migration such as weirs. They nest in areas where the river bed comprises stones, pebbles or gravel as they use this to build their redds. A clear view of the river bed is needed so avoid deeper water.
Follow this link to watch Brook Lamprey spawning, and depositing their eggs, last week on the Leader Water near Stow
How to see them
Lampreys can be viewed from the riverside or bank. Elevated banks or bridges over the river are the best viewing points. They are well camouflaged so be patient as you may look at a stretch of river for some time before you spot them. View the river bed from different angles, or at different times of day, to avoid surface reflections.