These fish look like slender eels with a sucker like mouth instead of jaws. They spawn in small bush streams.

Lamprey. Photo copyright: Stephen Moore. DOC USE ONLY.

Lamprey juveniles (ammocoetes) live in burrows in silty river edges and migrate out to sea after 4-5 years.

Whilst at sea, the lamprey are parasites on marine life until, after another 4-5 years they migrate back up streams to breed and die.

Maori consider lamprey or piharau to be a delicacy. They are threatened fish.

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