Tippets: Whitefish Warning, Fish Forensics, Coldwater Thermal Refuges, Deschutes River Smallmouth

September 21, 2016 By: Erin Block

  • Jess McGlothlin writes about the Yellowstone River fish kill and the warning of whitefish, the canary in the coal mine. “It’s small-scale in the midst of what we’re seeing in the world these days, but one of the things that has stuck with me about this debacle is the fact I keep hearing the phrase ‘it’s just whitefish.'” Via Chi Wulff.
  • Scientists have discovered that the Alabama sturgeon, once thought to be lost after the last specimen of the species was caught in 2007, is still in existence in the state. Through water samples and DNA testing, scientists confirmed that populations remain. “I’m excited that it’s still there,” says biologist Steve Rider. “I’ve always had a glimmer of hope that we can still save the species, and this sort of affirms it.” Via Atlas Obscura.
  • A recent short film from EarthFixMedia explains “thermal refuges” and their importance for coldwater fish species. “Thermal refuges are part of the bigger picture of how habitat for particularly coldwater fishes like salmon, trout and steelhead, survive,” says Jeff Dose, USFS Fishery Biologist.
  • As waters of the Deschutes River warm, steelhead are giving way to smallmouth bass. “Is the queen of Oregon rivers shedding gems from her crown?” asks Bill Monroe, “Or just trading diamonds for rhinestones?” Read more on the changing face of the fishery via Oregon Live.