Mike McFeely: Bigmouth Buffalo Centenarians

Duluth News Tribune:

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Don’t call the bigmouth buffalo a “rough fish,” a common and derisive moniker slapped on species viewed as less desirable than the sainted walleye and other hotly pursued fish. “They are amazing,” said Alec Lackmann, a North Dakota State University researcher in the Department of Biological Sciences. “They are one of the most exceptional freshwater fish species in the world.”

Lackmann would know. He led an NDSU team that unearthed this amazing fact: Bigmouth buffalo can live to be more than 100 years old, making them the oldest age-validated freshwater fish in the world. Lackmann’s study included one specimen that was 112 years old, and most of the fish he researched were more than 80 years old. The oldest fish came from lakes near Pelican Rapids, Minnesota...

According to NDSU, the bigmouth buffalo is now known as the longest-lived freshwater teleost (ray-finned fish) and the oldest age-validated freshwater fish in the world. “This is a paradigm shift in how we’re looking at these fish and should open a discussion about their real value,” Lackmann said. “They should not be called ‘rough fish,’ which carries a negative connotation. They should be viewed as an ecological asset.”

Mimicking Nature: Fish Passage Around Dams

Rebecca Kessler, writing for Yale Environment 360:

In North America, a few nature-like fishways were completed in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and the approach has gradually gained popularity since, particularly in New England, the Pacific Northwest, Minnesota, and parts of Canada. Nature-like fishways — which also go by names like “roughened channels” and “stream-like fishways” — are catching on elsewhere, too, including Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.
Sarrancolin Dam on France's Neste River (Photo credit: FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department)

Sarrancolin Dam on France's Neste River (Photo credit: FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department)

Size matters. Look at this, Judge the fish passage by hydrology, do you?