1. River lamprey (Lampetra fluviatilis) and sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) are designated features of the River Derwent Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and the Humber Estuary (a possible SAC). This study determined the condition of lamprey populations in the Yorkshire Ouse catchment by assessing the species composition, distribution, abundance and size-structure of larval (ammocoete) populations in five major tributary rivers (Derwent, Swale, Ure, Nidd and Wharfe). 2. According to EU condition assessment criteria, Lampetra populations (assumed to be mostly river lamprey) are at present in favourable condition, with site mean (+/- SE) densities ranging from 2.7 (+/- 1.2) to 160.3 (+/- 50.5) individuals m(-2) (all river means > 2 individuals m(-2)), and at least two size (approximate to age) classes present in optimal microhabitats. By contrast, no sea lamprey larvae were recorded, suggesting that populations of this species are in unfavourable condition. 3. Actions to protect and enhance nationally or internationally important stocks must be implemented from at least a catchment perspective, because many of the issues affecting such species are not localized. With respect to lampreys, particular attention should be given to protecting spawning and nursery habitats, improving water quality, reducing impingement at abstraction points, preventing exploitation at spawning grounds and increasing passage at potential physical obstructions. Copyright (c) 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Nunn, A. D., Harvey, J. P., Noble, R. A. A., & Cowx, I. G. (2008). Condition assessment of lamprey populations in the Yorkshire Ouse catchment, north-east England, and the potential influence of physical migration barriers. Aquatic conservation : marine and freshwater ecosystems, 18(2), 175-189. https://doi.org/10.1002/aqc.863