Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Fun with the Fish Scientists

We're still recovering from last week's meeting of the Southeastern Fishes Council... man, those ichthyologists know how to have a good time! Most of our day was spent in talks with titles like "Systematics of the Etheostoma rufilineatum Species Group (Teleostei: Percidae) Based on Both Mitochondrial (Cytochrome B) and Nuclear (S7 Intron) Loci." We had a long session on captive propagation, which brought up both past projects in the Southeast (like our very own Save the Sturgeon program) and how to optimize captive propagation programs. In between talks, we got to visit the Aquarium and hang with the big fish:

We also took them behind the scenes at the Aquarium, since most ichthyologists know more about what is necessary to keep fish alive in the wild instead of alive in a tank.

It wasn't all pure science, either. Bernie Kuhajda, the SFC chair, helped me write an editorial for the Tennessean about water resources in the Southeast. You can read it here.

Now it's time to recover... we host this group in Chattanooga again next year!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Welcome Southeastern Fishes Council!

We're happy to welcome the Southeastern Fishes Council to their first annual stand-alone meeting on Thursday and Friday, November 8 and 9. Scientists from 14 different states are traveling to Chattanooga to share information and ideas on southeastern fish conservation. We're particularly glad about the timing of this meeting since the drought has devastated the rivers and streams of this unique and diverse region.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Sturgeons Released!

This Halloween, we helped out some of our favorite monsters--Lake Sturgeon. While the fish we released today were just babies (six months old and less than a pound!), we hope these 700 fish grow up to rival the size of the largest Lake Sturgeon ever caught, 310 pounds and 8 feet long. Of course, it's going to take them quite awhile to get that big... Lake Sturgeon can live up to 150 years!

We had some help from students at Gap Creek Elementary School, just across the French Broad River from our release site. The kids weren't at all scared to get in the water with our monster fish!