FISHY FACTS

Tardigrade:
Tardigrades may be the toughest animals on Earth. They have evolved to live almost anywhere and survive almost anything. Some tardigrades can shrug off conditions that would obliterate most living beings, including extremes far beyond anything found on Earth.
They are also tiny, rotund, and strangely endearing, with nicknames like “water bear” and “moss piglet.”
1. They’re Microscopic, But Just Barely
Tardigrades are near the edge of visibility for most human eyes. A typical tardigrade is about 0.5 mm (0.02 inch) long, and even the largest ones are less than 2 mm (0.07 inch) in length. Some larger tardigrades can be visible to the naked eye, but since they’re also see-through, we’re unlikely to get a good view without at least a low-power microscope.
2. They Are Their Own Phylum
Tardigrades comprise an entire phylum of life, which is one taxonomic rank below kingdom.
Tardigrades have been around for at least 500 million years or so, possibly sharing a common ancestor with arthropods. Over 1,000 species are known today, including marine, freshwater, and terrestrial tardigrades.
3. Their Bodies Are Like Walking Heads
At some point early in their lineage, tardigrades lost several genes involved with producing the head-to-tail body form of animals during development. They have lost a large intermediate region of the body axis, too, lacking segments that, in insects, correspond to the entire thorax and abdomen. According to a 2016 study published in Cell Biology, the tardigrade’s body now seems to be made mainly from head segments, making its entire body “homologous to just the head region of arthropods.”
4. They Can Go Decades Without Food or Water
Perhaps the most famous thing about tardigrades is their uncanny durability. Tardigrades are not immortal, but they have a powerful adaptation that allows them to survive for decades in extreme conditions: cryptobiosis.
To endure environmental stress, tardigrades suspend their metabolism through a process called cryptobiosis. They curl up and enter a death-like state known as a tun. Their metabolism slows to 0.01% of normal, and their water content drops to less than 1%. They survive in this state by replacing the water in their cells with a protective sugar called trehalose, which preserves all the cellular machinery until water is available again.
Tardigrades have different kinds of tun states for different hardships. Anhydrobiosis helps them survive desiccation, for example, while cryobiosis protects against deep freezes. Tardigrades can survive long periods without food or water in a tun, then return to normal once they’re rehydrated. Some have been reanimated from a tun after lying dormant for 30 years.
Outside of their tun state, tardigrades have a lifespan of up to two and a half years.
5. They Perform Well Under Pressure
Some tardigrades in a tun can handle pressure as high as 600 megapascals (MPa). That’s nearly 6,000 atmospheres, or 6,000 times the pressure of Earth’s atmosphere at sea level, and it’s about six times higher than the pressure found in the planet’s deepest ocean trenches. Even half as much pressure, 300 MPa, would kill most multicellular life and bacteria.
6. They’re the First Animal Known to Survive in Outer Space
Two tardigrade species flew into low-Earth orbit on the FOTON-M3 mission in 2007, becoming the first animals known to survive direct exposure to space.5 The 12-day mission included active and desiccated tardigrades, exposing some of each group to either the vacuum of space, the radiation, or both. Exposure to the vacuum was no problem for either species, and the lack of gravity had little effect, either. Some tardigrades even laid eggs during the mission. They were not impervious, though, and the combined effects of the vacuum and UV radiation did take a toll.
Tardigrades also visited the International Space Station in 2011, with similar results pointing to an incredible tolerance of the space environment. In 2019, when the Beresheet probe crashed on the moon, a capsule containing tardigrades in a tun state may have survived the impact, scientists announced. The fate of the tardigrades remains unclear, but even if they are still up there, they can’t reanimate without liquid water.
7. They’re Resistant to Radiation
Research has shown tardigrades can survive roughly 1,000 times more radiation than a human. They often resist the damage of radiation exposure in both active (hydrated) and tun (desiccated) states, which researchers have noted is a little surprising since the indirect effects of ionizing radiation are expected to be much higher in the presence of water.7 Being in a tun does seem to confer more protection, though.
Tardigrades have not only survived massive irradiation; they’ve also gone on to produce healthy offspring following radiation exposure. Researchers believe this is due to tardigrades’ abilities to both avoid the accumulation of DNA damage and to efficiently repair the damage that has been done. Still, as some space experiments have shown, even tardigrades have a limit for how much radiation they can take.
8. They Aren’t Picky About Temperature
Polar tardigrades have survived cooling down to minus 196 degrees Celsius (minus 320 Fahrenheit), and research suggests some might be able to withstand temperatures down to minus 272 C (minus 458 F), or just one degree above absolute zero. More heat-tolerant species, on the other hand, can survive temperatures as high as 151 C (300 F).

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FISHY FACTS

Yellow Perch:
If you want to catch some yellow perch, you don’t have to drive to Lake Erie to fill a cooler. Upground reservoirs, a type of artificial inland lake, offer excellent yellow perch fishing if you know where to go and how to catch them. Yellow perch can be caught in upground reservoirs using techniques similar to those proven effective in Lake Erie. Upground reservoirs with the best yellow perch fishing are primarily located in Northwestern Ohio.
TIPS: The key to catching yellow perch is finding the right location. You must find where the fish are holding and feeding at each time of the year to be successful.
Some anglers use fish finders (sonar) to locate yellow perch. However, they can be difficult to see on a fish finder when they are lying on or close to the bottom. A popular technique to locating them is drifting or slow trolling until you catch one, then anchor immediately and fish straight down.
Yellow perch also like to associate close to structure. Most upground reservoirs do not have much vegetation, but if you find some rooted vegetation, try fishing along its edge. If you find submerged trees near shore, they may be worth trying as well.
Choosing a rod that can provide good feel is important. Yellow perch bites can be expected to be light, so tackle should be light.
Remember, if you are not catching these fish, be flexible and try changing locations, using other baits, or choosing a different time of day to fish. You may find that yellow perch have developed a pattern of feeding at a particular time in a particular reservoir.
TACKLE: Use a light spinning rod and reel with 6-8 pound test during most of the year and ice fishing rods and gear during winter.
SEASON: Fall (mid-September-November)
PEAK ACTIVITY: Excellent
PRESENTATION: Slow drift or slow troll from boat. After you catch one; anchor at that location. Fish straight down just off the bottom using small minnows fished with a spreader or crappie rig.

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FISHY FACTS

Faceless Cusk:
The faceless cusk (Typhlonus nasus) is a genus of cusk-eel found in the Indian and Pacific Oceans at depths from 3,935 to 5,100 m (12,910 to 16,732 ft). This species grows to 46.5 cm (18.3 in) in standard length.
The fish is named after its appearance due to having an extremely reduced “face”. The mouth is located on the underside of the head. The sides of the head do not display any visible eyes. However, Typhlonus nasus does possess eyes, which can be seen deep beneath the skin in small-sized specimens. It also possesses two pairs of large nostrils towards the front of the head above the mouth. The species has discernible gill covers on each side of the head and large deciduous scales. It also has reduced dorsal and anal fins which are dark in colors and are fused at the end, as a replacement for a lacking caudal fin. The fins of this fish are black in color, with a very pale body.

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FISHY FACTS

Hybrid striped bass:
A cross between white bass and striped bass, and pound-for-pound, one of the hardest fighting fish swimming in Ohio’s waters today. Currently, the Ohio Division of Wildlife is stocking Buckeye, Charles Mill, Dillon, East Fork, Griggs, Kiser and O’Shaughnessy lakes and the Ohio River. Hybrid striped bass can grow considerably larger than a white bass and are more tolerant of Ohio’s warm water than striped bass.
Tips:
Use cast nets to catch gizzard shad for bait.
Hybrid striped bass hooking mortality increases greatly when water temperatures exceed 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Increase survival on released fish by landing fish quickly, reducing handling time, keeping fish in the water as hook is removed and cutting the line on deeply-hooked fish. Try using a circle hook if using live bait.
If you plan on keeping some hybrid stripers, place them on ice to maintain flavor and firmness of their flesh. Remove all the dark reddish meat from the centerline of the fillets to reduce the strong, fishy taste of larger fish.
Tackle:
A long bait-casting or spinning rod (6 to 8 feet) outfit with some flex (medium to medium-heavy action) helps absorb the shock of a hybrid’s hard, initial strike and keeps the hooks from pulling out of the fish’s mouth. Reels should be spooled with 10- to 14-pound abrasion-resistant monofilament. The heavier lines should be used for river hybrid striped bass. Be sure to have your fishing rod firmly in your hand or hooked into the boat.
Season:
Fall (mid-September-November)
Presentation:
Cast spoons into schools of bait fish, troll shad-type crankbaits, cast flashy metal lures onto flats, or bottom fish cut bait or chicken livers. As water cools, fish will move shallower.
Location:
Try creek mouths up to headwaters or lowhead dams, and below dams in tailwaters of lakes and rivers. Watch for fish breaking the surface chasing shad.