NANFA-- How fish get from A to B

Shireen Gonzaga (
Tue, 14 Dec 1999 00:54:10 -0500

These impoundment can become extremely dry during dry
spells. And I mean bone dry. Yet during long intervals of "wet"
weather, when these impoundments are filled with fresh water,
there are always fish there!

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.

Take a good look at the feet of many wading birds... it's easy to
see how vegetation with adhesive eggs could be tangled around
their long toes and carried from one body of water to another.
Birds like to bar-hop... I often see them flying from one
impoundment to another. It's easy to imagine fish eggs being
transported by bird power.

When visitors ask the refuge education staff how the fish got there,
the answer is via the birds. If the fish experts on this list think this

is inaccurate and can provide an alternate explanation, please let me
know so I can convey that information to the refuge folks.


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