All about that bass (and its friends)

What fish live in Lake Erie? Find out at “Walleye, Perch, and Bass, Oh My!” (which are three good clues right there), the next Ohio Sea Grant science talk at Lakeside Chautauqua on the Marblehead peninsula. You’ll meet some finny friends and then will hear about what concerns them. It’s from 2–3 p.m. on Tuesday, July 16.

Admission to the talk is free but requires paid admission to Lakeside and a parking pass.

Find out more. (Photo: Smallmouth bass, Eric Engbretson, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.)

ABCs of AIS; or, learning by the water

The Great Lakes-area AIS Landing Blitz campaign, a dockside effort to educate boaters and others about the risks from aquatic invasive species, and how to keep from spreading them, continues on Saturday, July 7, at the Mazurik State Access Area at Lakeside on Lake Erie.

Read more in a press release from Ohio State’s Ohio Sea Grant program. Ohio Sea Grant is one of the campaign’s sponsors.

Two days later, and again with Ohio Sea Grant’s assistance, you’ll have another chance to learn about aquatic invasive species at Lakeside.

‘So many snakes!’—and that’s a good thing

If you’ve been to the Lake Erie islands lately, you’ve probably seen Lake Erie watersnakes, which were brought back from the brink of extinction—to the benefit of the islands’ natural systems—by scientists and volunteers with CFAES’ Stone Laboratory.

Learn more in the video above and in our latest CFAES Story.

How to ID Ohio’s aquatic invasive species

Want some good cold-weather reading? Ohio State’s Ohio Sea Grant program offers a 160-page PDF e-book called Ohio Field Guide to Aquatic Invasive Species, with color photos for identifying aquatic invasive species and tips for preventing their introduction and spread. Featured are fish, plants, algae, mussels, crustaceans and others, including bighead carp, silver carp, didymo (an alga also called “rock snot”), fishhook waterflea, red swamp crayfish and Eurasian watermilfoil, to name just a few.

Ohio Sea Grant Specialist Tory Gabriel and Eugene Braig, CFAES aquatic ecosystems program director, helped produce the guide, whose introduction says, “Identifying and preventing the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species are the keys to averting long-term ecosystem damage and ensuring the highest probability of effective control.”

Find details and links for downloading the guide.

Can breeding, biotech bring back the chestnut?

North America’s eastern forests used to have some 4 billion American chestnut trees: large, tall (up to 100 feet), fast-growing trees whose wood made excellent lumber for buildings; whose nuts fed billions of birds and mammals, including people (including Thoreau); whose tannins supplied America’s leather industry. Various sources have called it “the queen of the forest” and “the ideal tree.”

Then something happened.

Continue reading

April 22: Ecosystem stewardship and rapid climate change

Managing forests for climate changeThe Climate Explorations series continues on Wednesday, April 22, with “Ecosystem Stewardship in an Era of Rapid Climate Change.” The subject: Science-based ways to help forests and other ecosystems adapt to climate change. Ohio State plant ecologist Peter Curtis is the speaker. Free at 7 p.m. in the Franklin Park Conservatory, 1777 E. Broad St. in Columbus. The program will also be streamed online; to watch, register here.

Today at 4 p.m.: Fighting the frog-killing chytrid fungus

The rescheduled talk by Smithsonian scientist Brian Gratwicke (originally set for last week but postponed due to weather) is today, Feb. 26, at 4 p.m., part of the spring seminar series by CFAES’s School of Environment and Natural Resources. Details here. He’ll speak on captive breeding of frogs in Panama, and using it as a stopgap while scientists try to come up with a way to manage chytridiomycosis. Chytridiomycosis is an emerging fungal disease killing amphibians (frogs, toads, salamanders, newts) in many places around the world, causing huge declines or the extinction of many species.

Does Bt corn affect stream life?

Bt corn and stream lifeDo bits and pieces from genetically modified Bt corn plants affect non-target insects living in nearby streams? The University of Maryland’s Bill Lamp talks about his research and findings at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 25, in a presentation hosted by CFAES’s Department of Horticulture and Crop Science. In Columbus, with a video link to CFAES’s research arm, OARDC, in Wooster. Details.