Jun 08

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Forecasting the Impact of Weatherfish

A tiny eel-like weathercaster? It may sound funny, but researchers are seriously concerned about the long-term impacts of weatherfish. Catch this intel:

(via Brenna Hernandez, Shedd Aquarium)

Chicago’s experiencing extreme weather…in fish form! (via Brenna Hernandez, Shedd Aquarium)

Chances are a storm is brewing if the weatherfish are all in a flurry. That’s how they react to changes in barometric pressure.

But unless you’re a biologist, like Phillip Willink of Shedd Aquarium, you’re not likely to see any of these shy bottom dwellers because they live in the muck. Willink studies their eating, breeding, and distribution habits.

He says the eel-like invaders first appeared in Chicago waters about 25 years ago, likely from the pet trade. Now, their numbers are exploding.

“So we don’t know their impact yet, but our concern is that they’re going to compete with and possibly displace some of our native fishes,” says Willink.

He hopes to find ways to control weatherfish populations and, in turn, help native fish weather the storm.


Hear More:

Phillip Willink describes the methods he uses to study lesser-known fish in the Great Lakes.

Get Schooled:

The fine print:




Permanent link to this article: http://www.currentcast.org/creature-features/forecasting-the-impact-of-weatherfish/