LIVE: Researcher Discovers Fish Species Live Really, Really Long Lives
Big Mouth Buffalo Fish Can Live 80+ Years Longer Than We Used To Think
An NDSU PhD researcher discovered species of fish here in our region lives much longer than we previously thought.
And that discovery could have drastic consequences in our wildlife management.
Alec Lackmann discovered the Bigmouth Buffalo Fish can live well past 100 years old.
He researched fish from 12 different populations in Minnesota.
Before, the oldest known example was only 26 years old.
He found one as old as 112.
He says they haven’t determined an upper limit to how old they can get.
Lackmann discovered the age of the fish by examining the otolith, small calcareous bodies in the fish’s inner ear.
All of the fish he studied were already caught by anglers.
Lackmann says he found groups of fish where 85 to 90 percent of them were older than 80.
That indicates that some fish haven’t been able to reproduce since the 1930’s
He says, “The evidence suggests there might be some problems with the dams there because many of the dams were constructed in the 1930’s and they might not be able to reach their spawning habitat, or their spawning habitats might be reduced because the dams have stabilized the water levels.”
Lackmann says those breeding issues require urgent attention from wildlife experts.
He also says Buffalo fish could help with our invasive species problem.
He found fish that had eaten Zebra Mussels, which have wreaked havoc in lakes around the region.
You can find the full breakdown of the study and findings by clicking here.