Fish Talk

GBF is partnering with CurrentCast to share information that they develop with other partners about water stewardship and sustainability in the Great Lakes and surrounding watersheds. CurrentCast is a project of the Center for Transformative Action based at Cornell University. CurrentCast content is owned by ChavoBart Digital Media, Inc. The Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future at Cornell University provides scientific content support and reviews all editorial idea for the initiative.
Fish talk… on this CurrentCast.

When Aaron Rice eavesdrops on a conversation, he hears plenty of pops, purrs, clicks and grunts.

As Research Associate at the Bioacoustics Research Program at Cornell University, he listens to fish. The sounds usually have something to do with aggression or reproduction - and some are loud.

Freshwater fish picture

Rice: “You can hear them just honking away as the males protect their nests and try to attract females to them.”

Other sounds are too quiet for human ears, but fish are built for underwater hearing --

Rice: “They are 85% water and so sound waves travel through them pretty readily.”

Rice and others use the sound to learn more about fish habits and to track their distribution.


Bioacoustics in the Great Lakes

A sound strategy for learning about fish… on this CurrentCast.

Aaron Rice, of Cornell’s Bioacoustics Research Program, tracks fish populations and behavior. He does it using sound.

Rice: “The advantage of using sound as a survey method is that with digital recording technology that's available now you can take a hydrophone, connect it to a essentially waterproof computer with a whole bunch of batteries and deploy it at the bottom of the lake let it record for six months to a year and then come back and start your analysis and so you have 24/7 audio coverage of a particular environment.”

Rice says this information can be used for things such as placing off-shore windfarms in areas where they would have a minimal impact on fish life.

CurrentCast is produced in partnership with Cornell’s Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, supported by New York’s Environmental Protection Fund and Sea Grant. Learn more online at

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Links to Info on Fish in Georgian Bay

Video of bass

Aquatic Species, meet some of them

Fish habitat project

Fall 2017 Newsletter: What's contaminating our fish?

TVO Climate short: The fisher's perspective

Listen to the podcast.