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Posts from the 'Ecology of Glacial Rivers' category

The Ecology of Glacial Rivers: How fish have adapted to silty water

Sunday, July 23, 2017
Longnose Sucker, photo by Annie Helmsworth

Longnose Sucker, photo by Annie Helmsworth

The second of a new series from the Susitna Salmon Center: The Ecology of Glacial Rivers. This segment, by Jeff Davis, describes how suspended sediment changes conditions in main channels of glacial rivers, and how fish have adapted to these changes.

The main channels of glacial rivers carry a large amount of fine sediment suspended in the water column during the summer months when runoff from glaciers is at its highest. This sediment gives glacial rivers their brown or turbid appearance. The amount of sediment can be reduced in glacial rivers that contain lakes, as some of sediment is deposited in the lakes.

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The Ecology of Glacial Rivers: Fish diversity

Monday, July 10, 2017

SSC image from facebook

The first of a new series from the Susitna Salmon Center: The Ecology of Glacial Rivers. This segment, by Jeff Davis, is about how habitat diversity in glacial rivers means more species of fish.

It’s surprising for many people to learn that large glacial rivers, like the Susitna River, support over 20 species of fish. This includes all five species of salmon, Chinook (or king), sockeye (or red), coho (also known as silvers), pinks (or humpy), and chum (or dog) salmon. Three of these salmon species (coho, chum, and sockeye) spawn, and three species (Chinook, coho, and sockeye) rear for one to three years within the Susitna River. Other fish that are popular in the sport fishery, rainbow trout, Dolly Varden char, burbot, and grayling are also found in the Susitna and other glacial rivers. Less common resident fish species include longnose suckers, two whitefish species, blackfish, sculpin, stickleback, and lamprey. The Susitna River also supports an isolated southern population of Bering cisco.

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