Tippets: Robot Fish Report to Scientists, Love for Rainbow Smelt in Lake Michigan, Fish Eggs Suffocating in Great Lakes

January 23, 2019 By: Erin Block

  • Robotic fish will help biologists understand how real fish experience moving through dams and turbines. “The vast majority of juvenile salmon and steelhead passing through the turbines survive without injury in the Columbia River Basin,” says Daniel Deng, a laboratory fellow at PNNL. “Still, we want to understand more about the injuries and mortality that do occur from abrupt pressure changes in dam turbine chambers. The Sensor Fish will provide information to help engineers design more fish-friendly turbines going forward.” Via Machine Design.
  • Rainbow smelt are not a native species to Lake Michigan. But unlike other non-native species such as sea lamprey, smelt are more complicated — which is to say they have more redeeming characteristics,” writes Maggie Koerth-Baker. Read What Happens When Humans Fall In Love With An Invasive Species” via FiveThirtyEight.
  • In the Great Lakes, underwater rock formations have served as incubators for native fish eggs. But now, “Many Great Lakes reefs, both man-made and natural, have been smothered by invasive zebra and quagga mussels that have colonized the lake bottom, leaving eggs exposed and more vulnerable to predators.” Read more on what is being done to save the fish nurseries of the Great Lakes from Tony Briscoe in The Chicago Tribune.