Fish cognition: Why Dory isn’t as dumb as she seems

Earth – “Just keep swimming,” pipes Dory, the spritely blue tang in the film Finding Nemo—over and over again. Her mantra amusingly invokes the longstanding perception of fish as dimwitted automatons, with little motivation beyond keeping themselves afloat, locating food and mates, and avoiding predators. Because they have more primitive brains than higher vertebrates such as Read More…

New Streams of Thought: Glacial Retreat Creates New Habitat for Salmon

Oxford Academic – Glaciers cover 10 percent of our planet's land surface, but as our climate warms, many glaciers are shrinking. As glacial retreat proceeds northward along the Pacific coast of the continental United States, through Canada, to Alaska, it is creating new stream habitat for salmon that has not existed in millennia. When and how will this new stream rollout happen? Where will Read More…

Federal scientists find N.L. Atlantic salmon population in steep…

Calgary Herald – A federal Fisheries scientist has recommended ending the Atlantic salmon fishery for the rest of the season in Newfoundland and Labrador rivers after returns indicated the struggling species continues a worrisome decline. In comparing the current season’s returns to previous averages, scientists found that 55 per cent of the province’s rivers will likely have lower Read More…

The origins of pottery linked with intensified fishing in the…

University of York – A study into some of the earliest known pottery remains has suggested that the rise of ceramic production was closely linked with intensified fishing at the end of the last Ice Age. Jōmon pottery from the Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. Pic credit: Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties. Scientists examined 800 pottery vessels in one of the largest Read More…

New studies on emerging threats to salmon

University of Washington – The life of a salmon — finding food, avoiding predators and swimming a few thousand miles — would be complicated enough without disease, toxic chemicals and a variety of other environmental hazards. Anything that compromises a salmon’s physical functions, sensory systems or cognitive powers puts that fish at risk of death in a competitive marine environment. Read More…

How do rivers alter sea-level?

Physics World – For the first time, researchers have accounted for river outflow in models of sea-level rise in coastal areas. “The equation we derived lets us predict how much sea level will rise based on river flow, and then compare that prediction to actual measurements and observations,” says Chris Piecuch of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). “Based on our model and Read More…

Save salmon gut contents for science

The Islands' Sounder – Calling all salmon anglers. Local scientists need your Chinook salmon guts to learn more about differences between the diets of summer Kings and winter Blackmouth. “We need to protect the prey base for both sea-run and resident Chinook,” said Russel Barsh, Kwiaht director and one of the participating scientists. “If they don’t have enough to eat, they’ll Read More…

Why are these salmon jumping?

Science Magazine – Young sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) have a curious behavior: They jump up to 30 centimeters in the air, sometimes skimming along the surface for close to a meter using their tail fins, about nine times a day on average. They even do this when no obstacles are in their way. The reason, according to a new study, is that they’re infested with sea lice—and are trying Read More…

Salmon scales tell researchers a lot about the fish returning to…

KDLG – Across Bristol Bay, scales from fish are being picked, licked, and stuck on cards to be sent to researchers. The reason? To figure out the ages of the salmon making their way up the rivers during the run. One researcher has spent almost 30 summers examining scales and figuring what fish are head where. Cathy Tilly puts a thin sheet of plastic over a paper card with rows of fish Read More…

Mapping species range shifts under recent climatic changes

Hokkaido University – The inclusion of taxon-specific sensitivity to a shifting climate helps us understand species distributional responses to changes in climate. Marine species in the eastern Bering Sea are not shifting their distribution ranges fast enough to keep track of current changes in climate, according to a study led by researchers at Hokkaido University. As global climate Read More…