Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Life Under the Ice?

Yes, there is life under the ice! 
During the winter months, fish will slow down in the water to conserve energy. One of the major reasons why the fish need to use less energy is because there is less oxygen available in the water during the winter. In the spring, summer and fall months water and air mix through wind and wave action and oxygen gets mixed into the water. Other sources of oxygen include, waterfalls and streams. Once the lake or pond gets covered in ice, the wind cannot create waves on the water so air cannot get mixed into the water.

Nine participants at Manlius Library on Jan 20th became fish and had to search for oxygen in a pond during a game that we played. There they learned how tricky it is to find oxygen in the winter, and why winterkill of fish can happen.

After playing the game, they were able to go out to the Swan Pond and infer where there might be fish swimming under the ice. With maps in hand, participants were able to label where the fish would be, made observations and figure out which direction was north.

Here is a great Wild Kratts episode to watch if you are interested in life under the ice
Under Frozen Pond