Monday, April 28, 2014

Episode 211 (4-28-14): Going Underwater to Explore Fish Migration

Click to listen to episode (2:51)

TRANSCRIPT

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of April 28, 2014.

This week, we feature more mystery sounds.  Have a listen for about 20 seconds, and see if you can guess what and where you might be if you heard these sounds.  And here’s a hint: this might sound like music in a certain kind of scales.


SOUND 


If you guessed a fish underwater, you’re right!  Those were underwater recordings made by a kayaker on the Appomattox River in Petersburg, Va., this past April 18, in order to give us some idea of what fish might hear or experience as they travel through waters of various speeds.  But where would those fish be going?  All fish, of course, move within relatively short distances to find food, cover, or nesting areas.  But some fish species migrate hundreds or even thousands of miles between salt water and fresh waters, or within oceans, particularly to spawn their young.  Two Virginia examples are American Shad, in which reproducing adults migrate annually from coastal waters upstream to spawn and then go back downstream; and American Eels, in which reproducing adults migrate downstream to ocean waters to spawn, but only once in their life.  These and other migration patterns allow fish to find favorable conditions for reproduction or overwintering.  Such migrations can be vital not only to the fish, but also to fish predators, from Grizzly Bears out west that feed on upstream-migrating Pacific Salmon, to Virginia’s native tribes and European settlers who relied on spring shad migrations up the James and other rivers to relieve winter’s scarcity.  Thanks to Raven Harris for providing this week’s sounds.

For other water sounds and music, and for more Virginia water information, visit our Web site at virginiawaterradio.org, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  From the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

SHOW NOTES
[All Internet addresses mentioned were functional as of 4/28/14]



American Shad.  Artwork by Duane Raver, part of art commissioned in the 1970s by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).  Made available for public use by the FWS’ National Digital Library, online at http://digitalmedia.fws.gov, accessed 4-28-14.


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The underwater sounds in this episode were recorded by Raven Harris, of Newport News, Va., on the Appomattox River in Petersburg, Va., on April 18, 2014; used with permission.


Thanks also to the following people for their help with the content of this episode: Paul Angermeier and Jane Argentina, both with the Virginia Tech Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation; and John Copeland, Ron Messina, and John Odenkirk, all with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.


For a Virginia Water Radio episode about sounds made by fish, please see “A Medley of Fish Sounds,” Episode 77 (week of 8-29-11), online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2011/08/episode-77-august-29-2011-medley-of.html.


SOURCES AND MORE INFORMATION

Information on fish migration in general was taken from The Diversity of Fishes, by Gene S. Helfman et al. (Malden, Mass: Blackwell Science, Inc.), 1997.


Information on fish migration in Virginia was taken from “On the Road to Recover: American Shad Restoration,” Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, online at http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/fishing/shad-restoration/); and from “Virtual Aquarium,” Virginia Tech College of Natural Resources and Environment, online at http://web1.cnre.vt.edu/efish/.

Other sources of information on fish in Virginia include the following:

Freshwater Fishes of Virginia
, by Robert E. Jenkins and Noel M. Burkhead (Bethesda, Md.: American Fisheries Society), 1994.


“Virginia Fishes” [freshwater game species], Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, online at http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/fish/.


“Virginia Saltwater Angler’s Guide,” Virginia Marine Resources Commission (2006), online at http://www.mrc.virginia.gov/vswft/Angler_Guide/angler_web.pdf.


The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) “Shad Cam”—recording movement of shad and other fish upstream in the James River near Richmond at Boshers Dam—is viewable online at http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/fishing/shadcam/.


For information on some current research into sounds that fish and perceive, see the “Sound Production” Web site of Carol E. Johnston in the Department of Fisheries at Auburn University, online at http://www.ag.auburn.edu/fish/cjohnstonlab/research/sound-production/.

A language connection: You may have heard these fish-migration terms: anadromous (fish that go from salt water to freshwater to spawn, such as American Shad and Pacific Salmon); and catadromous (fish that go from freshwater to salt water to spawn, such as American Eel).  Both words derive from the Greek words "dramein" and "dromos," which refer to running.  Other words using derived from that root are aerodrome, hippodrome, and syndrome.

ADDED 5/13/15 - Roanoke Times "Outdoors" columnist Bill Cochran describes the annual Striped Bass migration upstream, and its popularity with anglers, in the following article:

Weldon striper run is spectacular and getting better, Roanoke Times, 5/13/15.



Virginia Water News and Other Information
            For news, events, and resources relevant to Virginia's water resources, grouped into categories, please visit the Virginia Water Central News Grouper, available online at http://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/.


Monday, April 21, 2014

Episode 210 (4-21-14): In "Woman Named Whiskey" by The Floorboards, What's the Solution?

Click to listen to episode (3:29)

TRANSCRIPT

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of April 21, 2014.

This week, we feature a Roanoke, Va., band with a tune about a man lost to alcohol, whose plight and plea for redemption both involve one of water’s most important properties—its capacity to form solutions.  Have a listen for about a minute and see how many examples you recognize.


MUSIC

You’ve been listening to part of “Woman Named Whiskey,” by The Floorboards on their self-titled CD released in 2012.  Water is referred to as the “universal solvent,” because its chemical structure makes it more capable than any other liquid of dissolving substances to form solutions.  The music you heard had four examples: whiskey is a solution of alcohol and water; rust formation involves water as a solvent; dirt gets removed by solutions of water and cleaning agents; and a person dipped in water has to come up for air because humans, unlike fish and other aquatic organisms, are NOT able to breathe oxygen dissolved in water.  Our awareness—unconsciously, perhaps—of water’s work as the “universal solvent” helps give it power as a symbol for solutions in human affairs, like the kind sought by the woeful man in this week’s music.  Thanks to The Floorboards for permission to use that music, and let’s end with another 15 seconds of “Woman Named Whiskey.
"

MUSIC


For other water sounds and music, and for more Virginia water information, visit our Web site at virginiawaterradio.org, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  From the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.


SHOW NOTES

[All Internet addresses mentioned were functional as of 4/21/14]


Just like solutions in human affairs, solutions in water are sometimes obvious and sometimes not.  From left to right: soft drink with many dissolved ingredients, including carbon dioxide that bubbles when it comes out of solution; sports drink, also with many dissolved ingredients; isopropyl alcohol in water; and tap water in Blacksburg, Va., which typically also contains low levels (below Safe Drinking Water Act standards) of various dissolved materials.


Acknowledgments: “Woman Named Whiskey” is copyright 2012 by The Floorboards, used with permission.  More information about The Floorboards is available online at http://thefloorboards.net/.

Here’s a quiz for good listeners
: The music excerpt actually mentioned five, not only four, examples of water-based solutions.  Can you recognize the fifth?  Here’s a hint: It’s said that when milk is spilled, shedding these is no solution, but in fact they are a very complex solution!


Sources:

“Water, the Universal Solvent,” on the U.S. Geological Survey’s “Water Science School” Web site, at http://water.usgs.gov/edu/solvent.html.

Chapter 12 of General Chemistry, by Linus Pauling, New York: Dover Publications, 1970.

“General Chemistry Help,” Purdue University Department of Chemistry/Bodner Research Web, online at http://chemed.chem.purdue.edu/genchem/topicreview/index.php.


Virginia Water News and Other Information
            For news, events, and resources relevant to Virginia's water resources, grouped into categories, please visit the Virginia Water Central News Grouper, available online at http://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Episode 209 (4-14-14): One Big, Blue Ridge Helps Create Three Big Virginia Rivers

Click to listen to episode (3:23)

TRANSCRIPT

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of April 14, 2014.

This week, we connect musical selections by two Virginia musicians to highlight the connections among one famous Virginia ridge and three Virginia rivers.  Have a listen for about a minute.

MUSIC

You’ve been listening, first, to part of “Hazel River,” with a background of “Shenandoah,” by Timothy Seaman of Williamsburg, with Henry Smith and Paulette Murphy, on the 1997 CD “Here on This Ridge,” Pine Wind Music; and second, to part of “Mountain Stream” by Bob Gramann of Fredericksburg, with Laura Lengnick on fiddle, on the 2001 CD “See Further in the Darkness.”  Both tunes were inspired by fast-moving waters flowing off of Virginia’s Blue Ridge, in or near the area of Shenandoah National Park.  The part of the Blue Ridge that runs through the middle of the national park from Front Royal south to Waynesboro divides the drainage areas, or watersheds, of three major Virginia rivers.  Throughout the park, the ridge’s western slopes lead to the Shenandoah River watershed.  On the Blue Ridge’s eastern side, mountain streams in the northern part of the park—like Mr. Seaman’s Hazel River and the stream in Mr. Gramann’s song—flow to the Rappahannock River; farther south, east-flowing streams are in the James River watershed.  Countless other ridges in Virginia aren’t as famous as the Blue Ridge, but whether high and obvious or low and indistinct, they all divide rainfall into waterways that watersheds eventually re-connect.  Thanks to Timothy Seaman and Bob Gramann for permission to use this week’s music.

For other water sounds and music, and for more Virginia water information, visit our Web site at virginiawaterradio.org, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  From the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

SHOW NOTES
 

[All Internet addresses mentioned were functional as of 4/14/14]


South Fork Shenandoah River at the U.S. Rt. 211 bridge in Page County, Va., July 22, 2012.  Traveling east on 211 from this point takes you into Shenandoah National Park, across the Blue Ridge, and into the Rappahannock River watershed.

 
The Rappahannock River, looking upstream from U.S. Route 29 at Remington, Va. (Fauquier County), December 27, 2009.  The Hazel River flows into the Rappahannock just a few river miles above this point.

Acknowledgments:
“Hazel River” and “Here on this Ridge” are copyright Timothy Seaman and Pine Wind Music, used with permission.  The CD was a project celebrating Shenandoah National Park and the people and lands of the Blue Ridge.  Mr. Seaman’s Web site is http://www.timothyseaman.com/.  “Hazel River” was featured previously in Episode 39 (10-25-10);  Mr. Seaman’s version of “Shenandoah’ was featured previously in Episode 130 (10-1-12).


“Mountain Stream” and “See Further in the Darkness” are copyright by Bob Gramann, used with permission.  Bob Gramann’s Web site is http://www.bobgramann.com/.  “Mountain Stream” was featured previously in Episode 156 (4-8-13).


Please note that the Blue Ridge continues southwestward in Virginia beyond Shenandoah National Park, stretching into North Carolina.  From about the Roanoke area south in Virginia, the ridge divides the Roanoke River watershed to the east from the New River watershed to the west.

Sources:
Information on Shenandoah National Park was taken from the National Park Service Web site for the park at http://www.nps.gov/shen/index.htm.


Information on the Hazel River is available from “Upper Rappahannock River Basin TMDL Study,” Rappahannock-Rapidan Regional Commission, online at http://www.rrregion.org/rappbasin.html.

More information on the Rappahannock River and Shenandoah River watersheds is available from “The Geology of Virginia—Rivers and Watersheds,” College of William and Mary Department of Geology, online at http://web.wm.edu/geology/virginia/rivers/rivers.html; and
from the U.S. EPA’s “Surf Your Watershed” Web site, at http://cfpub.epa.gov/surf/huc.cfm?huc_code=02080103 for the Rapidan-Upper Rappahannock watershed and
http://cfpub.epa.gov/surf/huc.cfm?huc_code=02070007 for the Shenandoah watershed

Virginia Water News and Other Information
            For news, events, and resources relevant to Virginia's water resources, grouped into categories, please visit the Virginia Water Central News Grouper, available online at http://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/.