FishGimme Shelter

We need shelter from weather. We count on our homes to protect us. Life would be very hard if we didn't have a home to protect us.

Fish also need shelter. They don't need protection from the weather as we do. But shelter is important to their survival. Streamside trees and their roots offer shelter. Large rocks and boulders in the stream do, too. But why do fish need shelter?

Fish have many predators. They are eaten by birds, raccoons and other mammals, and even other fish. Fish use shelter to hide from predators. Predators do eat some fish. Predators eat fish that they are able to catch. But more fish are able to hide and avoid being eaten. Trout and other fish hide from predators under roots and branches of streamside plants. Fish can even hide in shadows made by plants. Trees give fish a place to hide. If there weren't places to hide, predators might eat all the fish.

In Commission hatcheries, we put up netting and fences. Netting and fences take the place of trees and other vegetation. The netting and fencing keep most predators out.

Raceway

Huntsdale Fish Hatchery

Sun illustrationFish in rivers and streams also need shelter from moving water. They don't burn all their energy staying in one place. That's why we find fish behind big rocks.

Trees shelter us from the sun on hot summer days. Trees shelter small streams from the sun. This helps keep the water cooler in summer. Scientists have found that a small stream with trees would be 10 degrees warmer in the summer without the shade of trees.
 

Shelter Hide and Seek:
How many fish can you find in the streamside artwork below?
For more detail click on the artwork below.

Shelter illustration


PDF file of this article

PLAY Fall 1999


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