Walleye Bones Can ‘Hear’ the Sound of Overfishing

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Otoliths, also called “ear stones,” are used by fish to sense their balance and movement in the water.

A university study on Lake Erie walleye may help scientists spot rivers that are at risk of overfishing. Researchers at Ohio State analyzed chemicals found in walleye ear bones, and were able to figure out which fish returned to their hatching site to spawn, and which ones went elsewhere, creating some rivers that are vulnerable to overfishing. The fish seem to be saying, “Can you hear me now?”

Ecologists have long thought that most fish spawn in the same river where they hatched. But that’s not always the case, with Lake Erie walleye at least….

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