'Vampire Fish' Are Making A Comeback In The American River

By Rebekah Gonzalez

May 20, 2021

An underwater creature known as the vampire fish is making a comeback to the American River, reports CBS13.

Local divers have been spotting them throughout the week.

The Pacific lamprey, also known as the vampire fish, is long with leathery skin and has a jarring set of teeth.

"It looks like some sea creature from the deep," Karl Bly told CBS13.

Bly has been exploring the American River for over 40 years. Recently, he's taken a GoPro with him to capture video along the way.

"I've captured sea lions, river otters, crawdads, and lots of crazy things," he said.

But nothing is as strange as seeing the vampire fish, says Bly.

"They would be high up there as a rare fish," said Bly.

Although they aren't seen very often, the vampire fish actually calls California waters home.

"It is native to California and to the American River," Peter Tira with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife told CBS13.

The fish earned its name because they "attach themselves to a dolphin or shark or whale and suck on that larger host fish to feed off the nutrients," according to Tira.

"They are not harmful at all to people," said Tira.

The vampire fish did disappear from the river for a period of time but are now making a comeback, says Fish and Wildlife.

Photo: Getty Images

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