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10 Fun Facts About Migratory Fish
In celebration of the upcoming World Fish Migration Day on May 24, below are 10 fun facts about migratory fish:
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
1. When most people think of migratory fish, they think of salmon and other anadromous species that are born in freshwater, migrate to the ocean, and return to their natal rivers to spawn. But catadromous fish, like the American eel, do just the opposite—they migrate from the ocean into freshwater where they spend most of their lives, and then back to the ocean to spawn.
2. The distance that migratory fish travel can vary wildly. A Chinook salmon tagged in the Aleutian Islands and recovered in Salmon River, Idaho, was determined to have traveled 3,500 miles to spawn.
3. In contrast, river herring on the East Coast typically do not travel far from the outlet of their natal stream. River herring often occur in schools of thousands of fish near these outlets.
4. Considering the long distances some migratory fish travel, their ability to navigate back to their natal stream to complete their life cycle is truly incredible. Scientific evidence suggests that these fish use magnetic fields, environmental cues and their olfactory memory (or sense of smell) to navigate to the precise stream where they were born.
5. Diadromous fish play a crucial role in nutrient transport that supports freshwater and inland ecosystems. They migrate out of streams when they are still small and grow large on the ocean’s nutrients. Since many species die shortly after returning to their natal stream, their bodies serve as an important input of nutrients in these freshwater ecosystems.
6. Chinook salmon are among the largest migratory fish in the U.S., with the largest ever recorded being 126 lbs., though most Chinook salmon weigh only about 30 lbs.
7. Dams are not the only barriers to fish migration that are causing major declines in fish populations. Less obvious barriers can cause just as much damage, including poorly constructed culverts that occur at many road crossings.
8. Some salmon can jump as high as 6.5 feet—a skill that helps them in their upstream swim to their spawning grounds. However, the depth of the landing pool following such a leap can be as important to fish migration as the height of potential barriers.
9. Steelhead and rainbow trout are the same species of fish—rainbow trout is the freshwater form, and steelhead trout is the migratory form. Steelhead, unlike many migratory fish, do not always die after spawning and can make several trips back and forth between the ocean and their natal stream during their life cycle.
10. The cost of declining fish populations is not just ecological, it is financial. The Columbia River basin in California is estimated to have averaged between 10 and 16 million fish in the 19th century. Today, only about 1.5 million salmon and steelhead enter the Columbia each year, and only about 400,000 of those are wild, river-spawned fish. The rest are born in hatcheries. The National Marine Fisheries Service estimated the cost of salmon fishery losses due to dams in the Colombia Basin to be $6.5 billion for the period between 1960 and 1980 alone.
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Cabin fever is often associated with being cooped up on a rainy weekend or stuck inside during a winter blizzard.
In reality, though, it can actually occur anytime you feel isolated or disconnected from the outside world.
What is cabin fever?<p>In popular expressions, cabin fever is used to explain feeling bored or listless because you've been stuck inside for a few hours or days. But that's not the reality of the symptoms.</p><p>Instead, cabin fever is a series of negative emotions and distressing sensations people may face if they're isolated or feeling cut off from the world.</p><p>These feelings of isolation and loneliness are more likely in times of <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/yes-covid-19-cases-are-rising-why-you-still-need-to-practice-social-distancing" target="_blank">social distancing</a>, self-quarantining during a <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/what-is-a-pandemic" target="_blank">pandemic</a>, or sheltering in place because of severe weather.</p><p>Indeed, cabin fever can lead to a series of symptoms that can be difficult to manage without proper coping techniques.</p><p>Cabin fever isn't a recognized psychological disorder, but that doesn't mean the feelings aren't real. The distress is very real. It can make fulfilling the requirements of everyday life difficult.</p>
What are the symptoms?<p>Symptoms of cabin fever go far beyond feeling bored or "stuck" at home. They're rooted in an intense feeling of isolation and may include:</p><ul><li>restlessness</li><li>decreased motivation</li><li><a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/irritability" target="_blank">irritability</a></li><li>hopelessness</li><li><a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/unable-to-concentrate" target="_blank">difficulty concentrating</a></li><li><a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/irregular-sleep-wake-syndrome" target="_blank">irregular sleep patterns</a>, including sleepiness or sleeplessness</li><li>difficulty waking up</li><li><a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/lethargy" target="_blank">lethargy</a></li><li>distrust of people around you</li><li>lack of patience</li><li>persistent <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/depression-vs-sadness" target="_blank">sadness or depression<br></a></li></ul>
What can help you cope with cabin fever?<p>Because cabin fever isn't a recognized psychological condition, there's no standard "treatment." However, mental health professionals do recognize that the symptoms are very real.</p><p>The coping mechanism that works best for you will have a lot to do with your personal situation and the reason you're secluded in the first place.</p><p>Finding meaningful ways to engage your brain and occupy your time can help alleviate the distress and irritability that cabin fever brings.</p><p>The following ideas are a good place to start.</p>
When to get help<p>Cabin fever is often a fleeting feeling. You may feel irritable or frustrated for a few hours, but having a virtual chat with a friend or finding a task to distract your mind may help erase the frustrations you felt earlier.</p><p>Sometimes, however, the feelings may grow stronger, and no coping mechanisms may be able to successfully help you eliminate your feelings of isolation, sadness, or depression.</p><p>What's more, if your time indoors is prolonged by outside forces, like weather or extended shelter-in-place orders from your local government, feelings of <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety" target="_blank">anxiety</a> and fear are valid.</p><p>In fact, anxiety may be at the root of some cabin fever symptoms. This may make symptoms worse.</p><p>If you feel that your symptoms are getting worse, consider reaching out to a mental health professional who can help you understand what you're experiencing. Together, you can identify ways to overcome the feelings and anxiety.</p><p>Of course, if you're in isolation or practicing social distancing, you'll need to look for alternative means for seeing a mental health expert.</p><p>Telehealth options may be available to connect you with your therapist if you already have one. If you don't, reach out to your doctor for recommendations about mental health specialists who can connect with you online.</p><p>If you don't want to talk to a therapist, <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/top-iphone-android-apps" target="_blank">smartphone apps for depression</a> may provide a complementary option for addressing your cabin fever symptoms.</p>
The bottom line<p>Isolation isn't a natural state for many people. We are, for the most part, social animals. We enjoy each other's company. That's what can make staying at home for extended periods of time difficult.</p><p>However, whether you're sheltering at home to avoid dangerous weather conditions or heeding the guidelines to help minimize the spread of a disease, staying at home is often an important thing we must do for ourselves and our communities.</p><p>If and when it's necessary, finding ways to engage your brain and occupy your time may help bat back cabin fever and the feelings of isolation and restlessness that often accompany it.</p>
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