May 30, 2008 – Introduction to the Fish of Allegany State Park
Tim Strakosh is a biology professor at SUNY Fredonia. He is also husband to our part-time naturalist, so we at Audubon have had the pleasure of getting to know Tim a bit over the last couple of years. Tim led a fish program at the Pilgrimage this year which I attended after the Plant Lore program.
As a fish biologist, Tim uses an electro-shock unit to stun fish temporarily. Stunned fish are collected and identified, and certain data about each individual are recorded. Tim and company (Suzi and Daniel) demonstrated how this is done.
Aren’t they just stylin’ with their waders, gloves, hats and polarized shades? I think they look like an aquatic Ghostbusters team. Who you gonna call?
They caught several varieties of little fishes, whose names I cannot remember. I attempted some photos through the plastic containers:
I was stunned, not by the electro shock machine, but by the realization that there a lot more kinds of fish than I ever realized.
The fish that surprised me the most was large. I had never seen anything like it and was really almost shocked to think that it lives in the streams where I hike and splash and even swim! Why have I never seen one before?
Look at that mouth, will you!??! And with a name like Northern Hog Sucker, I think I’ll be able to remember it! It lives in fast-moving water and likes to eat aquatic invertebrates. Isn’t it cool?
More on the Pilgrimage tomorrow!