assisted migration of fish... does it occur in your area?

United States
March 25, 2008 12:27am CST
I read an article in the Orange County Register about a fish that was having difficulty migrating for spawning because of the increased huild up of homes and businesses in the area and the partioning of the waterways. Fishermen had to catch as many of the fish as they could and transport them to the river where they could complete their journey. I am wondering if this practice of assisting fish in their annual migration is common... and where it is practiced. I live in California and this is the first time I heard of this occurring in my County. It seems sad to me that the fish are unable to travel on their own but with some restoration of their ecosystem which is planned they may be able to eventually swim on their own. Wondering what the assisted migration programs are like in your area.
1 response
26 Mar 08
There have been several programs for wild salmon migrating into UK rivers where hydro-electric projects and dams have made the route back to the fishes original breeding grounds impossible (as far as we know Salmon will always try and return to the river in which they were spawned). These projects involve building salmon runs along the waterway to ensure that they can swim past the man made obstruction. I do not know of any projects where salmon are moved past obstructions, but I am aware that young fish are sometimes reintroduced into the headwaters of rivers which have become less polluted in the hope that they will survive and return again to breed. Salmon are one of the truely long distance migrants in the fish world, but I am not sure of many other species which follow this behaviour, except eels. Atlantic Eels all return to rivers from the Sargasso Sea, but can live out of water for short distances and actually migrate overland to get from lakes into rivers for thier return journey.
• United States
27 Mar 08
Thanks for sharing the information about the Salmon and Atlantic Eels in the UK. It is sad that other fish have been stranded by land development but it is good that people are noticing and attempting to save them. I believe that there are various programs in this country to save the Salmon too and to insure that they are able to spawn. They are amazing in that they swim upstream as well as having that long migration. I have heard of Eels but have never seen them except at an aquarium or on the menu at a Sushi restaurant... I think I tried a bit reluctantly at the urging of a friend... They are amazing to look at on the television with that flatness, all muscle and that undulating movement... all that and the migration too... amazing. I think that it was Steelhead Trout that was being assisted in its migration locally.
27 Mar 08
Steelheads are members of the same family as Salmon (Salmonids) and also migrate between the sea and rivers, so similar considerations will apply.
• United States
28 Mar 08
Thanks Prowberr... I didn't know that they were related. Wondering how you happened to know about the projects regarding the salmon and eels... and about fish species too... Its great that you do.