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PaulRobertsMay 4th, 2011, 11:21 am
Colorado

Posts: 1776
Fish don't have hands, they sample potential food with their mouths, or cheek or jaw -at least that's what it looks like. I even got to see this with trout I kept in a stream tank. If you've ever watched drift feeding trout you'll see them "sample" objects (grass, pine needles, trout flies...) both visually, bumping with jaw or cheek, and taking into the mouth. The result for non-food items is usually rejection, but not always. I've found some interesting things in trout stomachs: buds, seeds, even a germinated acorn, as well as interesting food items like a frog pulled from a large brown, and a small toad from a 12" holdover brown.

"Selective" feeding is an energetics game and a time when they are NOT sampling, being satisfied with the results and chowing down.
TroutnutMay 4th, 2011, 1:50 pm
Administrator
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2708
Fish don't have hands, they sample potential food with their mouths, or cheek or jaw -at least that's what it looks like. I even got to see this with trout I kept in an stream tank. If you've ever watched drift feeding trout you'll see them "sample" objects (grass, pine needles, trout flies...) both visually, bumping with jaw or cheek, and taking into the mouth. The result for non-food items is usually rejection, but not always.


One chapter of my dissertation is about this sampling issue in juvenile Chinook salmon. Sampling really hasn't been documented well in the scientific literature, and models of trout feeding energetics don't take into account the opportunity cost of sampling non-prey items and potentially missing real prey. It might be a small cost for large fish that see relatively little debris of the same size as their food, but it's pretty significant for the little fingerlings that feed on 1-2mm prey all the time. That's because there's so much more debris/detritus in the drift that matches the size of their prey. I'm giving a talk on this at the American Fisheries Society meeting in Seattle this fall, and hopefully publishing a paper on it soon thereafter.

"Selective" feeding is an energetics game and a time when they are NOT sampling, being satisfied with the results and chowing down.


I'd like to do some professional work on this in the future, hopefully really soon as a post-doc. I've done some preliminary modeling on it already and it's a really interesting issue.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
PaulRobertsMay 4th, 2011, 2:03 pm
Colorado

Posts: 1776
Fish don't have hands, they sample potential food with their mouths, or cheek or jaw -at least that's what it looks like. I even got to see this with trout I kept in an stream tank. If you've ever watched drift feeding trout you'll see them "sample" objects (grass, pine needles, trout flies...) both visually, bumping with jaw or cheek, and taking into the mouth. The result for non-food items is usually rejection, but not always.


One chapter of my dissertation is about this sampling issue in juvenile Chinook salmon. Sampling really hasn't been documented well in the scientific literature, and models of trout feeding energetics don't take into account the opportunity cost of sampling non-prey items and potentially missing real prey. It might be a small cost for large fish that see relatively little debris of the same size as their food, but it's pretty significant for the little fingerlings that feed on 1-2mm prey all the time. That's because there's so much more debris/detritus in the drift that matches the size of their prey. I'm giving a talk on this at the American Fisheries Society meeting in Seattle this fall, and hopefully publishing a paper on it soon thereafter.

"Selective" feeding is an energetics game and a time when they are NOT sampling, being satisfied with the results and chowing down.


I'd like to do some professional work on this in the future, hopefully really soon as a post-doc. I've done some preliminary modeling on it already and it's a really interesting issue.


Very cool Jason.

Neil Ringler is/was the man. I've emailed him a few times -nice guy. He's at Syracuse University.
TroutnutMay 4th, 2011, 3:01 pm
Administrator
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2708
Interesting. I'm familiar with some of his older work, but not on that. I'll have to look it up. Any specific papers you recommend?

By the way, sorry about the formatting problems on your last post with all the backslashes before apostrophes and quotes. That was a bug and I just fixed it (for all future posts, not just yours).
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
PaulRobertsMay 4th, 2011, 4:12 pm
Colorado

Posts: 1776
Not off the top of my head. He worked with trout in artificial stream channels looking specifically at selectivity, once upon a time. Here's his contact info:

http://www.esf.edu/EFB/faculty/ringler.asp
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