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About Trout

Dissolved Oxygen: the breath of life

by Doc Trout

 

     When I was a kid, although I was aware that trout breathed oxygen just like humans do, I just assumed that since water was composed of two parts Hydrogen and one part Oxygen, that trout somehow used their gills to extract the oxygen they needed by breaking down the water molecule. However, as I got older and gained a better understanding of the trout's environment, I discovered that trout can actually suffocate from lack of oxygen even though they live in water  but I didn't understand how this could happen. So, I did some research and discovered that instead of breaking apart the water molecule to extract the oxygen they need, trout actually breathe  something called "dissolved oxygen". So, I then got to wondering what the heck is dissolved oxygen? So, after some further research, I discovered that dissolved oxygen is actually a free roaming oxygen atom that is not bonded to any hydrogen atoms and that it enters the water via turbulence such as waterfalls and rapids. In addition, I discovered that the colder the water is, the more dissolve oxygen it can hold and the warmer the water is, the less dissolved oxygen it can hold. Thus, when the water temperature rises to its peak in the summer months, the water can be rapidly depleted of its dissolved oxygen content and this explains how a trout can suffocate in a medium that is partly composed of oxygen.

 

Humans, and Birds, and Bears! Oh, No!

by Doc Trout


     Why do trout run every time they catch even a glimpse of a human? Is it because somewhere in that tiny little pea sized brain of theirs, they somehow know that humans carry fishing rods and fake food with those pointy metal things in them? Somehow, I don't think so. Or, is it because they are genetically predisposed to run from anything that moves? Well, maybe. But, I suspect that the real reason that trout run from humans is because we look suspiciously like another predator that they are very familiar with: a bear. In fact, it is a common tactic for a bear to wade into the water and then stand on its hind legs while looking for fish to seize and, since trout do have pea sized brains, I don't believe that they have enough sense to realize that there is a difference between a human and a bear. So, as far as the trout are concerned, if it moves, run! If in doesn't move, run anyway!

 

Do Trout Get Cranky?

by Doc Trout

 

     Before you laugh, think about the question a minute. Then, imagine living in a house with a living room that you can only inhabit for a few days each month because the ceiling descends between periods of rainfall. Or, imagine having a constant, 30 mph. wind blowing through your house that accelerates to the speed of a tornado whenever it rains. Or, imagine your air conditioner breaking down and the air in your house becoming so hot and humid that you literally suffocate to death! Now, imagine that in addition to all of these environmental problems, there are various creatures out there such as Otters and Herons that would really like to catch you and eat you for dinner. So, you can never, ever, let your guard down even for a moment!!! Then, ask yourself if being under that much stress wouldn't make you cranky? So, maybe it makes trout cranky too.