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What Do a Frog and a Gorilla Have in Common, Ladders?

October 25, 2014 0
Yes, you guessed it, they both use ladders.  Frogs and toads in Scotland are being provided with ladders in gulley pots to help them escape from roadside drainage systems.  The vertical sides of the structure make it impossible for amphibians to climb out if they are washed in and they die a slow death.  Along with roadkill, these gulley pots have been identified as the major causes of avoidable deaths in the dwindling population of Scottish frogs and toads, so it is hoped that their falling numbers can be helped by the installation of escape ladders.The escape ladders in the drainage system have been custom built for the frogs, but if you have a pond in your garden you can provide an easy route out by putting plastic mesh, or trellis in the pond, weighed down with a stone in the water....
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Ladders and a Free Lunch

September 04, 2014 0
At the Occum Dam in Connecticut one audacious otter is taking advantage of fish ladders to get himself a free lunch. Built in 1865 on the Shetucket River, the dam now provides hydroelectric power, and a fish ladder was added in 2005 to provide a route past the dam for migrating herring, shad and trout. It is the monitoring camera at this fish ladder that has caught a daring otter using the narrow passageway as a hunting ground.Nicknamed ‘Ollie’, the adult otter swims into the fish ladder and waits in one of the pools for fish to come through. Ollie takes advantage of the narrowed space to hunt and catch his dinner, as it’s far easier inside the fish ladder than in the wider space of the fast flowing river. Scientists studying the migration of the fish species through the ladder would...
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Big Fish, Little Ladder

August 31, 2014 0
In Sonoma County, California, a new fish ladder has been installed for Coho salmon, in an attempt to entice them further upstream and back to their natural spawning grounds, which they have been unable to reach for over a decade.  The new fish ladder is part of a multi-billion dollar project to improve the river systems and habitat for Coho salmon, a project that has been going on for more than twenty years.The new development is based in Purrington Creek, which is unusual because the water flows there all year round (many of California’s smaller waterways are dry during the summer months).  At the creek there is a concrete culvert that diverts the natural water path and makes it impassable to Coho salmon, who need at least a foot of water to swim in if they are to make the jumps upstr...
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New Fish Ladder Gives Volunteers the Night Off

July 25, 2014 0
A new fish ladder under construction in Bowmanville Creek, Ontario, is going to mean volunteers get a good night’s sleep for the first time in years.  Upriver from the creek are spawning grounds for salmon, but a barrier dam in the creek meant they could not swim upstream to their destination.  The absence of a suitable fish ladder at the obstacle meant that during the migration season, teams of volunteers spent several nights herding the fish into nylon bags and manually lifted them over the obstacle.There was a bypass on the dam designed for trout, but after the government introduced salmon into the waters, the existing fish route proved unsuitable for the larger fish and so volunteers working with the Valleys 2000 project began their human powered fish lift system.  Although the pr...
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Dam! How do we help the fish?

July 15, 2014 0
The Wanapum Dam on the Columbia River, Washington, was opened in 1963 and created a reservoir and hydroelectric power station for the area.  The Columbia River is one of the native habitats of Chinook salmon and steelhead, both protected species in the USA.  Because of their status, fish ladders were built into the dam to allow the safe passage of these species on their way back to upstream spawning grounds.  The spring Chinook salmon run is protected by the Endangered Species Act and extra care is taken to ensure the safe passage of these fish to their destination.However, in February of this year, divers spotted a 65-foot long crack in part of the concrete spillways and water levels in the reservoir behind the Wanapum Dam were dropped to reduce the pressure on the cracked part of the ...
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New Fish Ladder in Shetlands Benefits All

September 04, 2013 0
At Hoswick in the southern Shetland Isles a fish ladder has been installed in a burn that was destroyed by flooding and landslides in 2003. For the past decade, native trout have been unable to navigate back to their spawning grounds higher up the river, because the rebuilding of the burn resulted in the water flowing thinly over the culverts below the new bridge. The trout were unable to swim up the shallow stream and angling stockists stopped putting new fish into the river here, depleting the local population of trout and impacting on the environmental cycle of which the trout were a vital part. The new fish ladder is part of a wider project to improve the natural environment in the area, including planting new areas to support waterfowl and other wildlife.The new fish ladder has three ...
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Cutest Animal Ladders

August 27, 2013 0
Videos of cats are pretty much unavoidable on the internet these days: Our fascination with these furry creatures seems to have found a foothold in popular culture, so it was inevitable that sooner or later, one would feature on this blog! There are many videos of cats using purpose built and makeshift ladders, but this video showing a big litter of ginger kittens using their owner’s trousers as a ladder, is definitely the cutest! There are even videos of cheeky squirrels climbing up people’s trousers in parks, trying to steal food out of their pockets!A quick look around pinterest for animals on ladders confirms that the internet is indeed full of all sorts of climbing animals! But in real life, hamsters, mice and other small rodents look cute going up the ramps in their habitats - r...
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Struggling With Ladders - The Pacific Lamprey

July 19, 2013 0
Regular readers will know that we often visit the topic of fish ladders, as it is an unusual subject, especially when we consider the parallels between how fish and people use ladders.  Both are used to reach higher levels that cannot be accessed without help, both are used seasonally (with the exception of those who use ladders for their job, many domestic ladder users only actually use their ladder for Christmas decorations or spring cleaning/decorating) and in both cases, some ladders are designed with a specific user or obstacle in mind.The Pacific Lamprey is one of those breeds of fish that does need a specific ladder.  Scientists at the Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River, working with the US Army Corps of Engineers, have been modifying the existing fish ladders (designed original...
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Stuck Up a Tree Without a Ladder? - A Little Humour

June 20, 2013 0
It’s a bit of a cliché, but cats apparently do get stuck up trees and, without ladders to climb down, it is usually up to someone to call the emergency services to retrieve them.Earlier this year in the Queens District of New York, USA, a cat had to be rescued from a tree after getting stuck in the branches. An NYPD officer scaled the tree (seemingly without the use of a ladder, but after taking the precaution of setting up cones on the ground around the tree to prevent anyone being injured by a falling feline) and attempted to rescue the black and white moggy.However, the cop’s brave plans were put paid to when he discovered that without a ladder, he too was now stuck up the tree. The Fire Department of New York (FDNY) received a call just before 3pm that there was a police officer, ...
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Which Fish Can't Climb Ladders

May 27, 2013 0
 As regular readers will know, most fish can climb ladders (well, the ones that follow an upstream migratory path anyway).  We've looked at fish ladders in the past, mostly because they’re actually quite interesting and the mental image of a fish climbing a ladder is amusing! If you haven't seen it before I highly recommend our post in December last year where we gave some fun examples of the North American autumn Salmon migrations and their ladders.Fish ladders, for the uninitiated, have several types of construction, but the basic premise is a series of obstacles or pools which slow the water flow down and provide a bypass for man-made obstacles on the rivers such as dams.  The fish swim or jump from section to section in order to get upstream past the dam or other blockage.How to B...
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