I have taught three Distance Education, now online, courses in fish culture topics for over 20 years. That means a lot of papers to read and evaluate and I get some fabulous nuggets of information from them. Sometimes they make me burst out laughing, sometimes I read, reread, shake my head and try again, and still can’t figure out what they are trying to tell me. I thought it about time I started to collect them and record them somewhere. Here are a few good ones that I remembered to hang onto.

“Just like in people, fish have different personalities and when you have a large amount confined to a small space, it is almost impossible to keep an eye on each individual.” (Yes…it’s the quiet one’s you have to look out for….they’re always trouble….) – March 2019

Did you know that…. “…diatoms can cause severe moralities in pen-reared salmon” ? (I didn’t. Spellcheck is not always your friend) – December 2018

“At the Capilano Salmon Hatchery, fish are hand-fed in order to spot any irregular feeding patterns. Staff also get an opportunity to get intimate with the fish.” (My students provide all sorts of interesting information in their papers…. but I think I have to have a talk with the staff …. I clearly had no idea what really goes on….) – December 2017

“The pond is covered by netting to keep predators such as herons and minx out.” (Gotta keep those impudent and flirtatious young girls out of the ponds….) – December 2017

“A mat with Virkon in it is located at the door entrance to the incubation room to disinfect shoes of bacteria.” (I was previously unaware that bacteria wore shoes….. Hopefully they are Fluevogs…. I could live with that) – December 2017

“The Coho fry are often raised as food for the chum fry” (Giving my head a shake on that one……Ummm…nope!) – December 2017

“Mortality is greatest during fertilized egg stage because sometimes an entire tray dies for reasons such as dropping the tray abruptly during handling” (Ummm, yeah, that’ll do it every time!) – December 2017

“This is accomplished when the fish drink large quantities of sea water, excretion of excess salts via the gills and excess malevolent ions are actively transported across the gill through specialized chloride cells in the base of the secondary lamellae.” (I think she probably tried to type “monovalent” and her autocorrect didn’t know what that was.  No mark deductions for that one, it was too awesome, and an honest mistake) – October 2017

“The increase in global water temperatures could potentially cause decreased ambient climates for wild fish species and increase potential for sea lice making fish more venerable to parasitism or death in general” (First of all, what the heck is a decreased ambient climate? Secondly, you really shouldn’t trust your spellcheck, I don’t think the fish are really accorded a great deal of respect by parasitism or death) – March 2016 

“Essentially what this gets at is that research could have been conducted in areas where the problems were not that influential to constitute otherwise. Also it lets one consider a chaotic effect of testing situations of multi variability. With natural ecosystems having many variables it becomes difficult for researchers to implement a deductive method of testing, and combined with the ideology that envelopes chaos theory it is difficult to appropriate the causes of problems to one specific reason. In this case it is possible that outlier reasons can compound sea lice populations, and vice versa.” (I…I….I….I have no idea what to say to that……) – March 2016

“Involvement with veterinarians specializing in aquatic tetrapods is often a necessity in determining the specific cause of a malady on a fish farm, as well as in pursuing further treatment options.” (For the non-biologists…the tetrapods are the reptiles, mammals, birds, and amphibians – all the four limbed animals – no fish included in the grouping. Personally if I was having a fish health issue, I’d touch base with a fish vet before I’d call one that specializes in dolphins, turtles, crocodiles, frogs, or salamanders. Fourth year facepalm!) – January 2016

“My plan of action would begin with asking for help from others to form a team that can assist in my efforts of diagnosing and hopefully treating my fish; I can’t possibly handle this situation on my own, especially with the rising mortalities haunting my site.” (That one made me smile. Haunted? By what…the ghosts of fish “passed”?) – January 2016

“It is always important to consider previous disease outbreaks in a facility because outbreak suppression does not necessarily mean the disease has been completely eliminated. Therefore, time lags could be conducive to incubation times with the same disease that has already been observed in the facility.” (Confusing statement….partly because the word conducive doesn’t belong there and isn’t conducive to the understanding the sentence, partly because she was trying too hard to use big words that don’t contribute at all to what she was (I think) trying to say.) – January 2016

“IHNV effects the liver, lungs and organs of the fish eventually causing death and build up of the virus” (So, first of all we have the misuse of ‘effects’ – in this use the student is telling me that the virus creates the liver. Then, unbeknownst to me, salmon have apparently acquired lungs. Finally, I am told that viruses build up after death – a biological impossibility since viruses require living hosts to replicate. Sigh) – November 2015

“A typical abnormal behaviour is floating with their belly up”. (You don’t say….so what would constitute an atypical abnormal behaviour?) – October 2015

“Adult salmon have jaw teeth like carnivorous fish.” (Ummm, because they are carnivorous fish…) – October 2015

“Downstream migration with wind speed in the direction of the migration path results in increased migration rates later in the season.” (Wouldn’t you just LOVE to know what that student was trying to tell me? Personally, I haven’t a clue!) – 2014

“Fish swim in a direction that is countercurrent to the flow of their blood.” (I’d expect to see a lot of fish swimming in circles….– 2014

“Female salmons are killed by blowing into the head with a stick.” (Should be female salmon are killed with a sharp blow to the head, not that they are given some strange form of a blow job) – October 2014

“Upon closer analysis, the Freshwater and Marine invertly increases negatively and positively interchangeably. This suggests that there are competitions among popularity or population growth restraint between the two cultures.” (I can’t even hazard a guess as to what he was trying to tell me) – January 2013

“It is recognized that a high percentage of fish are bread in freshwater.” (So if the water temperatures rise, are the fish toast?) – November 2012

“The movement of fish can introduce disease and outbreak in both live and frozen fish.” (who knew frozen fish could catch a disease!?)

“The infection for IPNV occurs while it is in its frozen state while Vibro anguillarum infects mostly during the summer.” (I don’t quite know what to say about that one)

“Brackish water, with less salinity than seawater (0.5-30ppt vs. 30-50ppt), is suitable for production of additional water supplies.” (Another one I just don’t know how to respond to)

“Fish that survive the virus infection often have deformed spines making them not as feasible.” (Non-feasible fish…?)

“Aquaculture is mostly water based” (Ummm, yes, ususaly, since “aqua” means “water”)

“We shouldn’t be farming carnivores like salmon, instead we should farm pelagic fish like mackerel” (Damn those carnivorous salmon, let’s farm carnivorous mackerel instead!)

“In fresh water, it is not surprising to note that that freshwater fishes dominate this aquaculture environment.”  (Don’t you love when people state the obvious?)

“Brackish water is artificially made from human beings activities that involve concentrating some minerals from the soil and also other civil engineering activities that may involve mixing salty water with fresh water. ” (And I thought it was just where freshwater and seawater met and mixed…)