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…

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…

What makes a foggy day?

Answered by Nicole Peterson, Meteorologist, National Weather Service-Pocatello Office Fog is simply a cloud, but on the ground. In order for fog to form, there needs to be moisture in the air. Fog typically forms overnight when the air near the ground cools, and disappears in the morning when the sun warms up the air.…

I noticed this week (October 8th), that though the water of the South Fork in the Ririe area is clear, there are huge clumps of algae in the water and covering the rocks. I’ve never noticed this much algae before. Is there a reason?

Question answered by Gregg Losinski, Environmental Science Educator This is a great question based on an interesting observation. Like many great questions, the answer may not be a simple one. Without knowing what exactly was being observed it is hard to give a definitive answer, but the potential answers are all possible. The most important…

We are currently studying clouds and rain. We were wondering what percentage of a cloud is actually water and what percentage of a rain cloud is dust and or other things?

Answered by Dennis Finn, Research Meteorologist, NOAA, Idaho Falls Most water in the atmosphere is in the form of water vapor, a gas. Warm air holds more water vapor than cold air. For a climate like Idaho Falls, water vapor content is typically about 0.4-0.5% in the summer and less than half of that during…

On Sunday (November 25), a snow storm covered southeastern Idaho. We only got a skiff of snow in Dubois, but we heard that Idaho Falls and Pocatello got a lot of snow. Most of the time Dubois gets more snow than Idaho Falls. What happened?

Answered by: Kurt Buffalo, Meteorologist, National Weather Service The snow storm that affected southeast Idaho on Sunday was a bit complex, as the snow came in two different rounds. The first round came with a cold front that moved through during the late morning and early afternoon hours. This brought a brief period of light…