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Subject: Fish swimming direction
From: "Darran L. Crabtree" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Academic forum on fisheries ecology and related topics <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 20 May 1997 13:12:20 -0400

TEXT/PLAIN (60 lines)

To all,

        Darran Crabtree here, grad student, investigating the roles of coastal
wetlands to Great Lakes fishes.  I would like the opinion of anyone who
cares to share it on the matter below.
        I am interested in determining whether the Irondequoit
wetland contributes young fish biomass (age 0+ and 1+) to the adjacent
Irondequoit bay.  To do this I must quantify the movements through the
mouth of the Irondequoit creek (the only connection between the wetland
and the bay).  I envision (I realize envisioning can get me in trouble)
setting a portion of a gillnet (small mesh) perpendicular to the flow of
the creek.  I will set it for only a short duration of time, anywhere from
0.25-1.0 hr.  What are your opinions of my assumption that the orientation
of the fish in the gillnet (head stuck in the net pointed downstream or
upstream) is indicative of the direction that that young fish is going
(out of the wetland or into the wetland).
         We have gillnetted in this area before and have only caught
large, predatory, adult fishes such as salmonids and channel catfish.  I
believe that this habitat (right in the mouth of the creek) is a prime
foraging area for fish predators, but that there are temporal pulses of
young fish moving through the creek mouth.  So with out doing a tagging
study (we tried this in another part of the wetland and found that the
populations were too large to get adequate recaptures), can I simply say
that in this hostile habitat (numerous predatory fishes around) small,
young fish should minimize time spent there.  Thus, any fish caught
should be using the creek mouth as a "highway" between the wetland and
bay, not as a residence.

I would like your opinions on:

1) Whether orientation of the fish in a gillnet can be used as a
predictor of direction of fish movement, and

2) Whether the presence of young fish in the net can equate to fish
moving through this area rather than fish just "hanging out" in this area?

Respond to my address below.
Thanks in advance,


Darran L. Crabtree
State University of New York
College of Environmental Science and Forestry
243 Illick Hall
One Forestry Drive
Syracuse, New York 13210
[log in to unmask]

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