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Old 03-18-2021, 11:00 AM   #20
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Glen's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Amityville, NY
Posts: 1,155
Originally Posted by DSettahr View Post
This is outside my realm of solid understanding but I've always understood that there has been some speculation within the scientific community that birds (waterfowl) have played a role in the transport of fish eggs to land-locked water bodies that either have no outlet, or have a fish barrier on the outlet (i.e., a waterfall too tall to swim up). For years, the assumption was that eggs would become lodged in the feathers or on the feet of a bird when it landed on a water body where the eggs had been laid, then transported to the isolated water body when the bird relocated to that pond/lake.

More recently, however, there's been an increased focus on looking instead at waterfowl digestive systems as the mode of transport- i.e., the bird eats a fish egg whole while on the waterbody where that egg was laid, then relocates to the isolated water body and poops the egg out, still whole and alive.

A google search brings up no shortage of articles on the subject, with varying levels of support for or against the idea that waterfowl is somehow involved.
Given that trout eggs are generally buried in gravel, it's unlikely any transport happens via waterfowl. That argument has been made with invasive fish like perch and shiners but it doesn't hold up. Most of these lake/pond systems were brook trout and/or lake trout monocultures since the glaciers receded. The introduction of yellow perch, etc happened after the area was settled. I don't think that's a coincidence. It is likely that many isolated bodies of water without connecting streams were devoid of brook trout originally. There was no way for them to migrate to them. We stock them today because all the original large systems degraded. Don't get me started on that.
“Once there were brook trout in the streams in the mountains. They smelled of moss in your hand. On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps and mazes. Of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again. In the deep glens where they lived all things were older than man and they hummed of mystery.”
― Cormac McCarthy
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