Sunday, January 11, 2009


Imagine you were making a roast one day and something happened where you fell asleep and when you awoke the entire house was filled with smoke. To make matters worse imagine that you couldn’t open the doors or windows or turn a vent. You are stuck and you have to live in a stinky smoky house that will take days for all the smoke to settle or dissipate.

Now take a look at all the rivers in our area. How do the fish live in the rivers that are not only muddy from all the rain we’ve had but they are nearly lahars consisting of trees, rocks from landslides and the occasional abandoned car? How can fish breathe and survive in that environment? Can fish cough? I mean poor fish; poor nice fish. I just can’t imagine what it must be like for them.


Blogger loopymamain06 said...

I grew up on a lake, i currently live 3 miles from a dirty lake, i drive 2 hours to fish in a clean area. I have often wondered how fish can live in a dirty/muddy/silty area. If it's not too bad i know that they can filter some of it by the simple act of using their gills, but some places can get so bad, i does make ya wonder

5:04 AM  
Blogger Auntie said...

When you were describing the smoky house and smell, I got excited and thought you were talking about cooking "bacon".

7:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It may seem surprising to some, but migratory species like salmon and steelhead, thrive following floods. The fingerings get a quick ride to the sea. The streams get a good scouring out which provides rocky bottoms for prime spawning grounds. Large woody debris in the stream creates safe havens for next years crop of fingerings to hide from birds and other predators on their way to the briny blue.

8:42 AM  
Blogger g said...

i'm not sure there is a correlation with mud and the fish ability to breath. it would seem to me that a flood would enhance their ability to breath because of the churning which helps introduce more oxygen.

my logical deduction would conclude that fish breath better during heavy rains.

10:54 AM  
Blogger Mike S said...

Given the number of muddy waterways teeming with fish around the world it would seem they're able to cope with little problem. Pollution is another matter.

12:37 PM  
Blogger Mike S said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:37 PM  
Anonymous Ginger said...

I am not so concerned about the muddy water for the's the other crap that's in it. Run off from drains w/ all kinds of chemicals...not just in town, but out here in the boonies...some people don't dispose of their chemicals/oils/etc properly and when it floods all that stuff goes into the water. Look at the Willamette...I remember a report when I was a kid, photos showed that the fish had bends in their spines (like scoliosis) and open sores all over their bodies. I could imagine it made it hard for them to breathe. I thought there was something about the frogs as well. It was SO gross,I never skied/swam in that river again (along w/ the Columbia). I hope things have gotten a bit better since then...?

1:37 PM  
Blogger darev2005 said...

I imagine, from a completely scientific point of view, the more stirred up the water is, the more oxygenation there would be and they would just filter out the mud with their gills. Trying to imagine it from a fishes point of view, I imagine it could make life a little difficult. Probably alot of bonking of little fish noses on rocks and things.
And what in the world is a lahar?

2:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A lahar is a mixture of hot mud, snowmelt and toxic goo expelled from an active volcano. It's real heavy and screams down the mountain at a pretty good clip.

10:16 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Loopy, me too.

Auntie, you are obsessed.

Anon, I understand all of that , but just imagine an environment where you can't see and maybe gills don't get coated, but taking in oxygen can't be easy.

g, still off the cigarettes?

Mike they must be able to cope.

Ginger, it's not like they are able to get away from it. We can get out of town, but they can't leave their environment.

Darev, it just seems that the particulate matter would get in the way. That's all I'm saying. Any ichthyologists out there?

Anon, thanks for defining it for Darev. I think it can be used to describe other flows of liquefactious ground as well. Anyway, it resembles cement flowing down the chute of a cement truck.

5:25 AM  
Blogger richpix said...

I got to drive through a lahar with a rental car in the Philippines after Mt Pinatubo erupted. Had to be towed partway through by a piece of heavy equipment. The rental car folks were none too happy with me when I dropped the car off at the airport as they had specified the car was not to be driven through those conditions. Oh, well, they should have kept the drop-off location open or I wouldn't have abandoned the car and they could have given me grief in person rather than over the phone. ;-)

2:20 PM  
Blogger g said...

yes and it sucks.

i feel manic and i might have turrets syndrome.

7:04 PM  

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