Storm Ecology – Fish

Storm Ecology – Fish

Music, Ambience: River sounds in Toolik, AK

JM: Have you ever wondered how a big storm affects the life of an ecosystem? I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

BA: “Right now, they’re sorting through the fish determining what species they are, then classing them whether they are young of year, baby fish born this year, or not.”

JM: Bob Adams is an environmental analyst with the Hudson River Estuary Program, who is conducting a survey of fish found on the Hudson, about 80 miles north of mouth of the river. We asked him if flooding from a recent storm would impact the kinds of fish they were seeing in the survey.

BA: “I think we’ll catch quite a few more freshwater species because a lot of the the floodwaters have pushed the salt front downstream. So we’re gonna see a lot more freshwater species and the water is a little bit colder now, maybe a colder than it would normally be, so it pushed some species that like a little bit warmer water downstream too. The fish, unlike a lot of other species can kind of swim to their preferred habitats. So, some species that are not really affected by the stuff and other are, and the ones that are can swim to different spots in the river. In flooding events, we do find that the distribution of fish changes in the river. The more fresh water species are found throughout the Hudson, even in sections that are normally high in salt content. In addition, all the flooding that happens in the tributaries of the Hudson pushes a lot of those fish out into the main stem. So fish that are in tributaries, they get all pushed into the Hudson River.”

JM: We’d like to hear from those of you who live in flood-prone areas. What kind of an effect have storms had on your local ecosystem? Tell us on Facebook. Pulse of the Planet is made possible by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

Storm Ecology - Fish

What's a little extra water to a fish? Learn how flooding effects species living in rivers.
Air Date:12/12/2013
Scientist:
Transcript:

Storm Ecology - Fish

Music, Ambience: River sounds in Toolik, AK

JM: Have you ever wondered how a big storm affects the life of an ecosystem? I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

BA: "Right now, they're sorting through the fish determining what species they are, then classing them whether they are young of year, baby fish born this year, or not."

JM: Bob Adams is an environmental analyst with the Hudson River Estuary Program, who is conducting a survey of fish found on the Hudson, about 80 miles north of mouth of the river. We asked him if flooding from a recent storm would impact the kinds of fish they were seeing in the survey.

BA: "I think we'll catch quite a few more freshwater species because a lot of the the floodwaters have pushed the salt front downstream. So we're gonna see a lot more freshwater species and the water is a little bit colder now, maybe a colder than it would normally be, so it pushed some species that like a little bit warmer water downstream too. The fish, unlike a lot of other species can kind of swim to their preferred habitats. So, some species that are not really affected by the stuff and other are, and the ones that are can swim to different spots in the river. In flooding events, we do find that the distribution of fish changes in the river. The more fresh water species are found throughout the Hudson, even in sections that are normally high in salt content. In addition, all the flooding that happens in the tributaries of the Hudson pushes a lot of those fish out into the main stem. So fish that are in tributaries, they get all pushed into the Hudson River."

JM: We'd like to hear from those of you who live in flood-prone areas. What kind of an effect have storms had on your local ecosystem? Tell us on Facebook. Pulse of the Planet is made possible by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.