NOAA Stock Status Update: Good News

Last week NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) reported its annual Status of Stocks, a document that provides an update on the overfished and overfishing status of many US fish population. (See a summary here.) Overfishing is defined as the catch rate being too high to sustain a population of fish, while overfished refers…

Fish Take Underwater Elevator Before Surgery (videos)

 By Patrick Cooney During the cold winter this year at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, Illinois, one of Shedd’s researchers was heading to the warm waters of the Bahamas to better understand the movement patterns of Nassau Grouper. Dr. Kristine Stump joined Shedd Aquarium about a year ago as a Postdoctoral Research Associate, and has a history of leading…

Explosive questions

By: Dana Sackett Successful marine protected areas (MPAs) have helped to improve many fisheries.  What, may you ask, helps those successful MPAs be successful?  Well, there are a number of things that need to be considered to effectively pick a site and implement an MPA.  Some of these include fish biology, politics, societal needs, and…

The Mystery of the Unidentified Fish Prey

What do fish eat? With regard to the non-native Blue Catfish in Virginia’s tidal rivers, this question is routinely answered as “everything!” Once these Blue Catfish grow over 23 inches, however, they shift to piscivorous (eating mostly fish) diets that allow them to grow to weights in excess of 100 pounds! These fishy diets wouldn’t…

Freshwater, Fish, and the Future

While fishing, itself, is often the largest anthropogenic influence on marine fisheries, inland fisheries are often impacted by other societal needs and uses of water resources, particularly competition for freshwater needed for agricultural production, human consumption, and power generation.

Q-n-A: Marine Fisheries Observer

Bycatch from commercial fishing vessels is a major fisheries issue. But did you ever wonder how bycatch is estimated and accounted for? This week, we sat down with Mitchell Masser, a National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) certified North Pacific groundfish observer, to get a feel for the importance of the work of marine fisheries observers….

What is the actual value of our nation’s fisheries?

Why should you care about fisheries in the United States? The Factual Fish Squeezer eloquently explains the economical, ecological, and cultural reasons in the following video. Dr. Jesse “Factual Fish Squeezer” Trushenski is a fisheries scientist, foodie, and fish culturist, or “fish squeezer” as they are affectionately known. The Factual Fish Squeezer is committed to communicating…

Depletion boat electrofishing

by Brandon Peoples   Boat electrofishing is one of the most effective methods of sampling fishes in lakes and non-wadeable rivers. Depletion boat electrofishing involves conducting several electrofishing passes while retaining fish after each pass. Hopefully, workers will capture consistently less fish in each pass. Depletion electrofishing allows biologists to perform quantitative population estimates, rather…

Stream Planning Tools in the 21st Century

By Mark Scott, Guest Blogger The noted flowing-water ecologist H.B.N. Hynes wrote about the stream and its valley, pointing out that water quality, channel form, biological communities, and other stream conditions are linked to characteristics of the drainage basin. Countless studies have since reinforced that observation, and although Clean Water Act provisions to address point…

How can you turn volunteers into Citizen Scientists? Go Fish!

Guest Author Katie Pierson: “I enjoy empowering diverse parties in scientific research, be it citizen science or facilitating research collaboration.  No matter where life takes me, I will always love being out in the field with people and fish.” s heavy fog nestles into the corners of the bay and sea lions loudly discuss their…

How many fish are in the sea?

By Dana Sackett The old adage, “there are plenty of fish in the sea” begs the question, how many fish are actually in the sea? Many fisheries scientists have worked tirelessly to answer this question. Estimating the size of a fish population (which can range from largemouth bass in a few lakes in North Carolina…

Listening to the wind for better fisheries science

By Ian Stewart, Quantitative Scientist, International Pacific Halibut Commission   Edited by Patrick Cooney and Steve Midway, The Fisheries Blog When you think of weather and climate, it is probably about how it will impact your clothes choice for the day, your plans for the weekend, or the potential need for an umbrella.  A question…

Salmon On the Fringe: Not all who wander are lost

Guest Post By: Karen Dunmall, PhD Candidate, University of Manitoba Edited by Patrick Cooney I study salmon “on the fringe”. They are not part of the mainstream. They exist on the extreme periphery. They live in the Arctic. Specifically, the Canadian Arctic of the Northwest Territories. Naturally, Pacific salmons are primarily distributed in waters of…

The cup spilleth-over

By: Dana Sackett When marine protected areas (MPAs) are established as a strategy for fisheries management, spillover is one of the primary goals.  Conceptually, spillover is relatively simple: protect an area from fishing to allow fish populations to grow inside the MPA and eventually the benefits caused by the protected status (larger and more fish)…