northern brook lamprey credit: Fish of Isle Royal National Park CC BY 2.0

fish_icon_3Special Concern Provincially and Nationally


• Small (up to 16 centimetres), nonparasitic lamprey that feeds on diatoms
and protozoans
• Dark greyish-brown back and sides; pale grey or silvery white belly; jawless mouth with teeth arranged in a circle; seven pairs of gill openings
• Larva burrows in soft mud and spends about six years growing


• In Canada, ranges from Manitoba to Quebec
• In Ontario, inhabits rivers draining into lakes Superior, Huron and Erie, and the Ottawa River


• Pollution (including chemical control of sea lamprey)
• Changes in water levels and temperature


• Not protected under the Endangered Species Act, 2007 or under the Species at Risk Act, 2002


No estimates exist for the Canadian populations of northern brook lamprey.