Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Salmon Thought to be Extinct Rediscovered in Japan

From the "How Cool is This?" Department comes this little tidbit of information about a freshwater salmon species thought to have gone extinct 70 years ago, when a power plant constructed on its native Lake Tazawa altered the water chemistry and zapped the fragile fish.

Apparently, though, about 100,000 kunimasu salmon eggs were relocated to Lake Saiko at the foot of Mount Fuji before the power plant went in, and the eggs hatched. The fish, also called the black kokanee (which probably means the salmon are a landlocked variety), have apparently been swimming around in Lake Saiko for decades, unbeknownst to the rest of the world.

In celebration, the Kyoto University Museum is hosting an exhibition of the rare fish, which grows to about a foot long. Scientists say the fish's population is Lake Saiko is stable, so long as the current environment is maintained. There is hope, though, that anglers will leave this special critter alone.

Here, here.

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