Fishing Adventures

Big Fish Love Shrews

Fish Nerds 550Research from University of Washington researchers report that shrews can be a big part of some fish diets.  The study was done in Alaska where lead Pete Lisi and his colleagues concluded a 13 year study on salmonid diets.  The news story reports that rainbow trout and Arctic grayling over 20 inches long liked shrews – some quite a lot. One of the fish had 19 shrews in its stomach.

In one part of the article fishing stories are recounted of trout leaping out on to land to eat frogs and rodents. These tales are not confirmed, but certainly these big fish have figured out a way capitalize on high protein shrews.

Shrew populations are cyclic, with some years producing bunches of shrews. Researchers noted that during years of high shrew populations, the small furry critters are more likely to take risks near water to find food and unoccupied habitat.  This means more shrews end up in the bellies of hungry trout.
(Fun Fact: scientists count shrew tails in stomachs because that is one of the last parts of the animal to be digested.)

Anglers headed up to the Alaskan Frontier may want to pack a few dozen gerbils or a case of hamsters.  The big fish may be worth it.


Or they may want these:



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This Little Piggy Went Wee Wee Wee all the Way Down!

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 Photo credit: youtube screenshots

Dr. Anderson, a forensic entomologist at Simon Fraser University in Canada, led an unusual study using pig carcasses to find out what happens to human bodies when they decompose in the ocean. Dr. Anderson has a great job!

We want to know if the crabs that eat this pig taste like bacon….mmmm bacon crabs!

Terminator Fish Set to Invade Great Lakes

College of Engineering developing more robotic fish for Great Lakes research


10/1/14 -Michigan State University plans to use $1million dollar NSF grant to create robotic fish. (link)

Terminator fishEast Lancing, MI – This week Great Lakes fish are reporting that the humans are planning a full on assault using robotic fish to gather intelligence on unsuspecting schools of fish like lake trout and walleye.  “It is big brother, man. They are collecting mounds of data to control us, man. ”  notes a paranoid walleye. “Why? That is the question, man. Why?”

The robofish  were first seen recording water quality and other environmental data, but they now appear to be following fish that have been implanted with acoustic transmitting tags. Some speculate it is only a matter of time before the robots become predatory.

A school of super smart trout are testing traps baited with batteries in an attempt to ensnare the menacing machines.


Giant State Record Catfish is the Last Fish in an Epic New Hampshire Angling Quest

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Giant State Record Catfish is the Last Fish of an Epic New Hampshire Angling Quest

It took three years, but two fishermen have finished their one year quest to catch and eat every species of freshwater fish in New Hampshire  – and they did it with a record-breaking trophy. Dave Kellam from Exeter and Clay Groves from Conway, known as the Fish Nerds, caught a massive 12.3 pound channel catfish in the Connecticut River; besting the previous record by a little more than four ounces.

“I kissed that fish hard when we got it out of the water” confessed Clay. “I don’t think I have ever been happier to see a fish in my life.”

It was a fitting end to a quest that targeted 48 species of Granite State fish and included blood-sucking lampreys, venomous catfish, giant minnows and iconic trout. All fish were legally caught and most were captured using a hook and line. The two men created their own recipes, often using alliteration as their guide with such culinary gems as pickled pickerel, falafel fallfish and madtom mousse. Their final meal of the quest was a charbroiled channel catfish with champagne.

“We are the only ones to have caught and eaten this many fish species in New Hampshire,”  noted Dave. “It was a great adventure that gave us great memories and some indigestion.”

NH Fish and Game Fisheries Biologist Gabe Gries thinks that more channel catfish stories are on the way. “In my opinion, the channel catfish record will continue to be broken in the NH section of the Connecticut River in coming years as anglers become more aware of the opportunities that exist there for this species.  Anglers should be aware that these fish are not native to NH and that it is illegal and unwise to transfer them to other water bodies. “

 The Fish Nerds are now looking for a new quest to challenge their fishing prowess. They are accepting suggestions posted to their Facebook page or submitted to their Fish Nerds hotline at 607-378-FISH.  Dave and Clay are the hosts of a popular biweekly podcast “Fish Nerds” on iTunes and at

Fish Nerds with Last Fish


Media Contact:

Dave Kellam, Chief Media Nerd



Public Relations Campaign Fails for 21 Fish


Fish Nerds 45221 fish you no longer have to feel guilty about eating


(link to story)


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21 Fish You Can Now Eat Guilt-Free

Seafood Watch has upgraded several species from ‘avoid’ to ‘best choice’ or ‘good alternative.’


(link to Story)


FishEye Witness News-01

Sad news today from the U.S. West Coast where efforts have failed for many fish to remain on the unsustainable seafood list.  Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program has flipped their support for many species of groundfish and others, and made them some of America’s most wanted.

“We don’t know what happened” notes a gag grouper “Overall our population is still way down from what we use to be, but now some jerk has put us on the list.”

The gag grouper’s status as one of the fish that is now ok to eat is misleading.  Specifically, gag grouper from the Gulf of Mexico caught by handline is now a “Good Alternative”, but the same fish caught with a bottom longline or in the South Atlantic are still on the “Avoid” list.   Check out the complete list. 

The frustrated grouper concludes, “It’s this kind of irresponsible liberal media reporting that makes me gag”.


Kayakers Punk Great White Shark

Read the human’s side of the story:

Fish Nerds 451Kayakers attacked by great white shark off Plymouth

Boston Globe


(link to story)

FishEye Witness News-01

512px-Great_white_shark_south_africaPLYMOUTH, MA:  Two kayakers thought they were pretty funny when they imitated a couple of lounging seals on Wednesday night, but a vacationing great white shark thought it was no laughing matter.

“It kind of hurt my feelings.” reports the shark. “I bit down and felt hard, tasteless plastic. When the two female humans fell in the water, I knew I had been punked.”

Usually humans are easy to identify with their thin useless fins, bulbous heads and funky smell, but these two were riding in seal decoys.

Shark community leaders are concerned that the human media will have a field day with this case of mistaken identity and warn fellow sharks to be on the look out for news helicopters and rednecks in fishing boats.







–image credit —

By Hermanus Backpackers (Great White Shark Cage Diving) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons