Winter’s effect on fish behavior

The biology department at NMU is hosting a number of seminars by graduate students over the next week; one of the which deals with winter’s effect on cold water fish behavior and habitats.

Jesse Haavisto, a graduate student in NMU’s biology department presented his thesis to peers and professors today. His research focused on in stream environments of rivers and creeks around the area and how winter weather, air flow and ice cover impact various aspects of fish and their habitats.

“Winter is an important season for fish in northern latitudes,” Haavisto said, “punctuated by harsh and variable winter conditions consisting of variable ice conditions, including frequent periods of freezing and melting within rivers; high velocity events not only associated with end-of-year melt-off but middle-of-winter warm ups; freezing temperatures, limiting and changing habitat size due to stream flow patterns; and low light conditions not only brought by shorter daylight periods but also due to ice buildup within rivers and streams.”

Haavisto touched on different species of fish including salmon and skulpin, and touched on various behavioral patterns like eating habits. His research covered a number of rivers, streams and creeks from up near Big Bay all the way down to Laughing Whitefish Creek in Alger County.