RE: NANFA-- How fish get from A to B

Jay DeLong (
Tue, 14 Dec 1999 10:37:55 -0800

Baltimore-stomping Gonzilla asked:
> How on earth do those fish get there???! Can our North
> American killie eggs, like those of Banded Killies, survive
> dessicated conditions and rehydrate later?
> If that is not possible, there is only one other explanation--the
> birds carried the eggs there. There is simply no other way I can
> think of for the eggs to get there because these impoundments
> are generally never exposed to the brackish bay waters on the
> opposite side of the dyke that separates the impoundments from
> the bay. Flooding is not the answer because the dykes that
> separate the dry land from the impoundments and bay are pretty
> high. And the fish are certainly not placed there by the refuge staff.

Here are some random thoughts. Neat topic.

Possibly the medium the eggs were layed on is what's being transferred, and
not just the eggs themselves. I can't believe birds can accomplish such an
amazing feat on their feet in the numbers you refer to. Don't these killies
lay their eggs in submerged grass beds? Perhaps mammals like muskrats are
doing this as they swim through the grass beds and scamper across the tide
flats and into the freshly flooded freshwater ponds draped with garlands of
stowaway plants and killie eggs. Also, are the dikes free of muskrat
burrows? That may be a way for the fish to get into the ponds, too. That
animal is the bane of earthen dams everywhere. I realize you'd possibly see
some water in the ponds during the dry season if this was the case, but
maybe muskrat movements and burrowing activities coincide with the wet

It would be most interesting to know if there are both juvenile and adult
killies present in the ponds. I think from what you said, they were adult
fish. If they are hatching from eggs, there would be a lag time before you
saw any adult fish. If adults are appearing immediately after these storm
events, then adults are getting in somehow. Could these storms produce
winds strong enough to hurl fish and/or egg-laden plants short distances
through the air?

Jay DeLong
Olympia, WA

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