I read an article about how kokanee eat and I’m confused. What is a gill raker? And how does the food get from the gill raker into the fish’s stomach?

Answered by Gregg Losinski, Conservation Educator First things first.   In Idaho, when we are talking about kokanee, we are actually talking about the same fish that we also call a sockeye salmon.   These are the fish that are famous for turning bright red when the time comes for them to spawn.  (Spawning is the way…

Are there any ecological impacts from the dam and power plant system in Idaho Falls, especially relating to fish movement across the concrete barrier at the Broadway Bridge?

Great question about dams!   While dams change the ecological makeup of any river that they are placed in, their biggest impact for fish comes in relation to movement.  Unless a dam is specifically built to allow fish to move both downstream and upstream, it becomes a barrier.  To some fish this is more critical than…

How do birds fly so long without getting tired?

Answered by Doug Halford, Wildlife Biologist, INL ESER Program Bird migration is the regular seasonal movement, often north and south along a flyway, between breeding and wintering grounds. Many species of bird migrate. Migration carries high costs in predation and mortality, including from hunting by humans, and is driven primarily by availability of food. It…

What is the difference between sleet and hail?

Question Answered by Tim Axford, Meterologist, National Weather Service-Pocatello, ID. HAIL Usually occurs during the spring and summer but could occur during all seasons. When thunderstorms form, air moves from near the ground up into the sky, sometimes as high as 50,000 ft up! This air moving upwards will carry drops of water with it.…

When getting coffee, the people at Starbucks ask, “Do you want to leave room for sugar and cream?” Do I need to leave space if I just add sugar?

Question answered by Catherine Riddle, PhD, Radiochemist, Idaho National Laboratory The chemistry of coffee is complex to start with so adding sugar, milk or both makes it even more so. There are many systems at work in a cup of coffee including density, inter-molecular spacing, temperature and concentration. Believe it or not, there is a…