By in Animals

Fish Need Wood - Here Is Why

You may not have thought about this before but it is a fact that fish indeed need wood to sustain them in certain areas. Here are the reasons why.

  • It can help spawning gravels to accumulate. It stops the gravel from moving downstream. This is especially important for fish such as salmon. If this weren't possible, bears would go hungry in certain areas.

  • Pools can form behind the wood debris. It provides an important habitat for rearing juveniles.

  • Wood can help slow down the speed of the stream. In doing so, it helps adults to move upstream and, at the same, time will shelter the juveniles keeping them from using too much energy against the currents.

  • The wood provides shade which allows for cooler waters in pockets that helps effect the temperature of the whole stream by lowering it.

  • Fish have tiny brains so their instinct to hide is all they use. However, if they find themselves within a large portion of wood debris and branches along with a few spiky pieces, it will allow them a refuge from predators.

  • Beavers are known to create dams out of wood. If these dams are near banks, then this will stabilize the banks themselves. It automatically stops erosion and decreases any sediment movement. This would harm a downstream fish habitat.

  • Wood is important to the aquatic food chain. It traps organic matter providing a habitat for insects and invertebrates. The fish can then eat them.

If you come across wood strewn across a stream as you are camping and disturb these while hiking, you could be most likely disturbing a fish refuge; which could enable predators to find them. Enjoy the outdoors as you normally would but be aware that you are actually walking through animal land.

| | #Sustainability | #Fish | #Restoration | #Ecology | #Streams | #Rivers |

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scheng1 wrote on January 28, 2015, 8:34 AM

Some hobbyists use wood in the fish tank too, but it is a lot harder to clean the tank.

CountryWine wrote on January 28, 2015, 6:17 PM

Yes, but if you add wood then you have to add a form of anemone. Plus, fish are not meant to be in a tank.

AudreyHowitt wrote on January 29, 2015, 8:25 PM

This makes so much sense to me, stream beds can erode and when eggs are lost due to erosion, the species must suffer

CountryWine wrote on January 29, 2015, 9:48 PM

Which would reduce the available amount of salmon, for example, each year for bears to thrive on.

CalmGemini wrote on January 29, 2015, 9:50 PM

As you have said,I had never thought about it.Your post was very informative.

CountryWine wrote on January 29, 2015, 10:01 PM

I didn't realize it myself until I came across the information during my daily reading from conservation issues.

arthurchappell wrote on January 30, 2015, 5:17 PM

great advice - would protect trees and nature anyhow but never thought of fish and wood that way before

CountryWine wrote on January 30, 2015, 5:28 PM

Most people haven't and that's why we need to be aware of it.

Kasman wrote on March 6, 2015, 6:57 PM

There is a group of Loricariid catfish which actually eat wood and others which, apparently, eat stone but what is really happening is that these species are ingesting the wood and digesting the bacteria and other micro-organisms inhabiting the wood - these fish truly cannot survive without wood and the organisms living thereon.

CountryWine wrote on March 7, 2015, 8:31 PM

Tht is a very good point! Thank you for your input.