People Fish

a little something to change from the norm for you today.
it’s all about fish but not the kind that typically pops up when we think of our slimy friends.

clever, charming, a simplicity of filming that greatly flatters the subject and really-really funny.
it’s in the now but also in the then all the while being timeless; the Charlie Lyne/Caspar Salmon duo have produced a real gem. here’s Fish Story, if this doesn’t bring a smile i don’t know what will, enjoy !

a Rainbow flag

generally speaking, i’m not a fan of flags. however, i like things that flap around in the wind… and have been working on a small series of wind-flappers that have no national, regional or societal connotations but instead are an attempt to, and this is a big word, to glorify nature. here’s the Rainbow flag.

rainbow flag m.fauvet-TLC 14-8-16

Real Gems

this is probably the most beautiful fish film i’ve ever seen.
no more words are necessary nor could they do it justice… enjoy !

i dreamt that you dreamt that a fish dreamt of you.

or did i just dream all that up ?

Louis Cahill’s article made me realise that i’ve never or at least can’t remember ever having dreamt  of fish, fishing or anything loosely connected to one of the activities i like doing so much when awake. following through with the theory explained in Louis’ piece that dreams are there to ‘file away’ information then that leaves two possibilities: that info is already filed away or the info is unfilable. for all i know and that ain’t much, i decided long ago that as far as dreams are concerned, i don’t want to know how or why. they’re intangible beings that operate on their own on their own schedule, sometimes entertaining, sometimes not but always interesting as long as we don’t try to make any sense of them and just take them as they are.

“I don’t know what fish dream about. Maybe they dream of the Mothers-day hatch or of shad kills. Perhaps they dream of herons or bears. Maybe they dream that they are birds soaring in the clouds. I like to think that once in a while they dream of me.

fish dream trout louis cahill“I was just there, in that big slow run, you know the one. I was eating caddis flies and all of a sudden I was just yanked up out of the water. It was like I was swimming but I wasn’t going anywhere. Nobody would help me and I just kept getting hauled up out of the water and then, from nowhere, there was this big guy, like huge with a beard. He picked me up with both hands and he kissed me. There was a bright flash of light and I was back in the water. I think he was God. What do you think it means?”

that was just the end of this thought-provoking read. click the image for the complete article and as always great stuff on Gink & Gasoline. thanks again Louis !

which Fish did we Evolve from ?

i’ve always pondered that. some of us accept we come from the sea (and i firmly intend to go back) but it’s not so clear which creature we evolved from.
MinuteEarth‘s video suggests its fish and whether it’s exact or not i like the idea as its somehow more pleasant than thinking we have our roots in kelp or some other drab organism.

whilst some of my friends appear to be direct descendants of the infamous Pink
plush-blobfish,

i like to believe i came from a butter-brown trout.

i digress…
here’s an interesting short film i hope both big and little will enjoy.

Salmon ears, Sound and vibration in water, Fish Communication and Noisy noises

and a whole bunch of other really cool/interesting/thought-provoking/andjustplaingoodreading fishy-science facts from MCX Fisher via buddy Pete Tyjas’ always great Eat Sleep Fish ezine.

even if the only image in the article appears to be a cod,

codsalmon
based on Atlantic salmon research, MCX goes a stretch further on explaining and going into great detail (and be sure to follow the adjoing links !*) on, eh, there’s no way i can add any more info on this subject so here’s a few excerpts:
“The underwater sound environment is entirely different to that in which we live in air. Accordingly, when thinking about the underwater world we have to dump our experience and preconceptions. Simply, salmon don’t ‘hear’ like us, because they don’t have ears”

“The key features of sound in water are that it:
– Is about 800 times more intense than in air, because the water is incompressible and therefore a much more efficient transmitter. In addition the surface layer reflects sound back into the water.
-Travels far further than in air: relatively minor events are detectable at ranges measured in kilometres, but the level of background noise is relatively very high because it is drawn from a much wider area.
-Goes about 4.4 times faster.
-Is influenced by the composition of the water.”

So much, so interesting, but what is its relevance to the angler?
If certain frequencies can stimulate a salmon to attack oceanic prey, can we exploit this in fresh water? In thinking about this it helps to grasp what 300 Hz sounds like in air : for comparison Middle C is 261 Hz. It is certainly much higher than the dull thrum of commonplace line vibration in fast water, which is in the range 10-30 Hz.”

and lastly,
“The moment you step into a pool the salmon’s formidable sensors will detect your activity, even if you have felt soles and a light step. However, they don’t know it’s you or what you’re doing, because in evolutionary terms humans haven’t been angling long enough to achieve any genetic impact on salmon. Unlike the calls of whales, seals and other fish, salmon anglers’ noises aren’t in the salmon signal library. Certainly they wouldn’t be able to connect the crunch of your studs on the gravel and the clink of your wading staff on the rocks with the drama of being caught, except perhaps if they’d been caught shortly before by another heavy-footed fisherman.”

but there’s a gazillion more fascinating things to read on this noisy subject and to do so simply click the cod ! enjoy !


* and one of those happens to be a really geeky but eversocool Beeps, Chirps and Noise channel on youtube where i found this little brown noise treat ! (yeah, that’s sounds a little idon’tknowwhat but don’t be afraid, you won’t have to go clean up after listening to it… )

“Brown noise is noise with a power spectral density inversely proportional to the frequency squared. It decreases in power by 6 dB per octave or 20 dB per decade. The sound of brown noise mimics a waterfall or heavy rainfall.”

Cartoon fish

two short informative animated films for both young and older kids i hope you’ll enjoy and share with those around you.
first up, a concise description of the life cycle of Atlantic salmon. this one’s specifically about Scottish salmon but the principle is the same for any of our sea-going migratory fish around the world.

and secondly, a little reminder of just how precious a comidity water is. its not something we should take for granted and this, for kids of all ages.

previously posted articles on Conservation/Environment and Fish/Ichtyology

“His dress told her nothing,

but his face told her things which she was glad to know.”
A.A. Milne

best known for his books about the teddy bear Winnie-the-Pooh, it’s pretty clear Milne knew a thing or two about perch as well.

Strange Things Fround Inside Fish *

i have a bream

 

ok, but what’s in it ?

as a fisher who doesn’t kill fish its not a question i regularly ask myself but its indeed an interesting topic. i’ve always heard of weird things like license plates, beer cans and whatnot showing up in shark bellies but it seems like our slimy friends have a diverse appetite that goes far beyond the typical insect or smaller fish.
 
“A friend of mine was trolling in Loch Long, and hooked a seithe. An enormous cod seized the seithe, and paid the penalty by being brought into the boat himself. His girth seemed unnaturally large, and, upon opening him, a brown paper packet of sandwiches, enough for luncheon for a pretty large party, was taken out. They could not have been less injured, mustard and all, had the cod’s stomach been a sandwich-box.

No-one knows whether they ate the sandwiches or not. The fish can consider itself lucky it didn’t meet Colquhoun himself – bloodthirsty old rascal, he would probably have shot it. Cod are the dustbins of the sea and will eat almost anything, accounting for how, in his 1895 Sea Fishing, John Bickerdyke remembered how a captain called Hill accidentally dropped a bunch of keys over the side in the North Sea and thought them lost for good, only to recover them several weeks later in the belly of a cod he trawled up many miles distant – but I guess in those days cod were so abundant that the idea of a dropped set of keys not ending up inside one must have seemed fairly ludicrous. Then there is Dr. Day’s story of a seven inch candle found inside a cod which may have been in search of enlightenment; and others said to have swallowed guillemots, partridges, turnips and even whole hares. The mind boggles at how or where a cod would come across a hare, but then again…”

click here for the complete gastro-piscatorial article on Thefishingmuseum online. enjoy !

* yes, Fround…

eating fish- some food for thought

an interview with oceanographer Sylvia Earle via TED

i’ll admit it, i’m biased. i love fish and that’s why i don’t eat them.
add to that that since i was a child the slightest taste of some semi-cleverly hiddden-within-the-meal fish flesh would bring an instant gag reflex and copious spewing… the decision for me to not kill or eat them was a no brainer but that’s just me.
in matters like today’s topic it’s always very difficult to convey an important message and plea for action or in this case restraint without sounding like an alarmist or other end-of-the-world nitwit but i believe that Sylvia’s message is clear, honest, simple and straightforward and it all makes sense.

don’t take it as an order but as information and an invitation for thought. here’s a few extracts.

“for most people, eating fish is a choice, not a necessity. Some people believe that the sole purpose of fish is for us to eat them. They are seen as commodities. Yet wild fish, like wild birds, have a place in the natural ecosystem which outweighs their value as food. They’re part of the systems that make the planet function in our favor, and we should be protecting them because of their importance to the ocean. They are carbon-based units, conduits for nutrients, and critical elements in ocean food webs. If people really understood the methods being used to capture wild fish, they might think about choosing whether to eat them at all, because the methods are so destructive and wasteful. It isn’t just a matter of caring about the fish or the corals, but also about all the things that are destroyed in the process of capturing ocean wildlife.”

should_we_stop_eating_fish_

“I’m not saying that you have to stop eating meat, but think about what it takes to make a plant compared to what it takes to make a plant-eater, like a cow, chicken or pig. Even carnivores on land are lower on the food chain than most fish. Think of a tiger or lion or a snow leopard. They eat plant-eating animals. They eat rabbits or deer. So, food chains on land tend to be fairly short. Over 10,000 years, we have come to understand that it’s far more efficient not to eat carnivores. We eat grazers, the ones that we choose to raise, such as cows and pigs. Perversely, many of the animals that are natural grazers, we are force feeding wild fish. We’re taking large quantities of ocean wildlife, grinding them up, and turning them into chicken food or cow food or pig food — or even into fish food.”

click the image for the complete interview.

Common sense and Hope.

there’s a lot to think about in this short 9 minute video.
– it’s about not taking short cuts and thinking ahead.
– it’s about doing right when wrong was done.
– it’s where man and nature work together for mutual benefit.
– and basically, it’s about love.
– enjoy !

stream pricks

they’re so cute, enjoy  !

“The brook lamprey is a fish that like blind larva lives in the stream bottom for most of his life, and see themselves only late in the spawning season. From the month of August a metamorphosis of the oldest lamprey larvae, which develop the animal eyes and genitals. From that moment, waiting for the first sunny spring days that do heat up the water. In spring everything is in the sign of reproduction, which only lasts a few weeks at the brook lamprey. If the stream prick ready to spawn, they die.” *

* yet another lovely achievement from the genius robotic mind of Google Translate.

be sure to check out blikonderwater‘s page for more super-nice underwater footage.

What’s in Farmed Salmon ?

basically, its not food but poison…

click the image below to access Ireland Against Salmon Farms’ page for more information.

what's in farmed salmon ?

please spread the word.

Sockeye Butts

and a few flanks and heads.

by Eiko Jones, here’s a lovely, can’t-get-enough, intimate and wonderfully silent underwater escapade featuring these fascinating migrators in their glorious party attire. be sure to watch it in full screen, enjoy !

Wild vs Stocked Trout- The Purity of the Breed ?

by Peter Lapsley via FlyFishing & FlyTying

sonagnan trout

one of the more interesting articles i’ve read on this oft heated argue/debate: preserving the genetic and ecological integrity of wild indigenous trout species while introducing farmed diploid (fertile) or triploid (infertile) trout to their environment.
in the article we’ll notice that a few taken-as-facts notions aren’t what we might have thought.

even if these studies where performed in the UK let’s not forget that most ‘wild’ brown trout around the world where stocked, brought in from elsewhere, not exclusively, but often from the UK so these findings are probably valid for any trout waters around the globe, and since they’re salmonids we can also suppose that these findings could very well be applicable to all the other salmonids whether they be purely freshwater or seagoing .
ok, i’m no ichthyologist and that last part is just a guess but i’d bet its mostly true. anyhow,

here’s a few random tidbits from this great article i highly recommend reading in its entirety.
“It seems reasonable to suppose that farmed brown trout stocked into rivers will necessarily discomfort those rivers’ wild trout – that they will harass the wild fish, dislodging them from their lies; that they may prey on small wild fish, particularly if they themselves are large; that they may disturb wild trouts’ spawning redds; or worse, that they may mate with wild fish, diluting the genetic integrity of wild trout populations.”

“Intriguingly, the outcomes show the suppositions set out at the beginning of this article to be completely wrong on both upland and lowland rivers, chiefly because wild trout – far more stream-wise than farmed fish – have no difficulty in holding their own.
There was no statistically significant drop in abundance or growth of wild fish when stocking took place. Stocking did not cause the displacement of wild fish. Fish formed a very small part of the diets of both stocked and wild fish, and bullheads, stone loach and minnows were the predominant species found in the stomachs of the few trout that did occasionally take fish. The growth of stocked fish was negligible.”

“The question that must niggle away in the back of one’s mind, of course, is how so distinct a sub-species could have come to be present in waters as far apart as Lough Melvin in Ireland and Lochs Awe and Laggan in Scotland. The answer may lie in the fact the as recently as 15,000 years ago there were no fish at all in British or Irish lakes or rivers, because those waters were buried beneath 13,000ft of ice. All our freshwater fish came in from the sea after the ice cap had receded.”

and that’s just to wet your appetite. click the trout image for the complete article, enjoy !


Sonahgan trout image courtesy of
Paul Vecsei on flickr

Milking a Stonefish

not all fish are pretty, soft and cuddly and the Synanceia is a good example of a seemingly non-threatening yet very dangerous fish.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
don’t let yourself be tricked by this little one’s cuteness, specially if your walking around barefoot in the coastal regions of Indo-Pacific oceans as well as off the coast of Florida and in the Caribbean. of special note is you most probably won’t even see it before walking on or touching it as it buries itself in the sand, blending in to its natural environment.

“I got spiked on the finger by a Stonefish in Australia … never mind a bee sting. … Imagine having each knuckle, then the wrist, elbow and shoulder being hit in turn with a sledgehammer over the course of about an hour. Then about an hour later imagine taking a real kicking to both kidneys for about 45 minutes so that you couldn’t stand or straighten up. I was late 20s, pretty fit physically and this was the tiniest of nicks. Got sensation back in my finger after a few days but had recurrent kidney pains periodically for several years afterwards.”
—Stonefish victim

they don’t attack people. in a sense its people who un-expectantly ‘attack’ them by pressing their venom-filled dorsal fin spines unknowingly. the video below shows how people get stung.
apart from the joys of massive pain and being messed up for a long time, people can die from the sting, it’s that bad.
you might want to keep your everyday Doc Martins on at the beach.

i typically like to include an enjoy ! at the end of my articles but today’s post is more of a watch out !
for more on the Synanceia click the top image.

when fish yell back

by Emily Anthes via Erin Block‘s fantabulous Tippets section at MiddCurrent

fascinating piece on the study of how fish are adjusting to increasing sound pollution levels around the world. basically, just as we do when in a noisy environment, we start to raise our voices. the more ambient noise, the louder we speak until we get to the point of yelling. this is the Lombard Effect.

” We may think of them as silent, but fish make many sounds that are rarely appreciated by the human ear. Clownfish chirp and pop by gnashing their teeth together. Oyster toadfish hum and blare like foghorns by quickly contracting muscles attached to their swim bladders. Croaking gourami make their signature noise by snapping the tendons of their pectoral fins.

Anthes-Shouting-Fish-1200
Altogether, more than eight hundred fish species are known to hoot, moan, grunt, groan, thump, bark, or otherwise vocalize. Carol Johnston, an ecologist at Auburn University, is partial to the sounds made by lollipop darters, small fish native to Alabama and Tennessee. “They sound like whales,” she told me. “

and that’s just a scratch of this subject’s surface. after reading a bit we’ll soon realise that this isn’t so fishy-churpy-cheery because its yet another reminder of how we negatively impact the world we live in.
however, many many thanks to Emily for making us aware of this, i’m sure i’m far from the only person to not have considered underwater sound pollution and how it affects its creatures.

 

click the image for the complete article including actual sound recordings of several yelling fish. enjoy !  but quietly…

Melanocetus,

you’re both butt-ugly and beautiful.

“Deep-sea anglerfish are strange and elusive creatures that are very rarely observed in their natural habitat. Fewer than half a dozen have ever been captured on film or video by deep diving research vehicles. This little angler, about 9 cm long, is named Melanocetus. It is also known as the Black Seadevil and it lives in the deep dark waters of the Monterey Canyon. Doc Ricketts* observed this anglerfish for the first time at 600 m on a midwater research expedition in November 2014. We believe that this is the first video footage ever made of this species alive and at depth.”
* a research submarine. scientist humour i guess.

i love all you readers and i can’t leave you with this vision before going to bed so, here’s a much cuter cousin to the Melanocetus, the pink and purple panda bear of the anglerfish family- Chaunacops coloratus

and in case you’re wondering what it might sound like down there, wonder no more. enjoy !

wild ’bout

“It is not every day I find a special stream like this with such robust wild brookies and indescribable beauty below the surface.”
i couldn’t agree more. here’s a lovely little river snorkelling film filled with curious and adorable little brookies and bigger ones making more curious and adorable little brook trout.

there’s also a whole lot of leaves. billions.

big thanks to BlueBlood for this gorgeous treat. enjoy !