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A fine kettle of fish: photo of EGLE's bucket of fish gets lots of attention on social media

Bucket with 21 species of fish

When Professor Brian Roth of Michigan State University posted a photo of a bucket of Michigan-caught fish on Twitter, asking followers how many species of fish they could identify in the bucket, it got a lot of response (44 likes, 12 comments).

The bucket of fish was dropped off at MSU by EGLE's Mike McCauley, who travels the state collecting fish for the State's Fish Containment Monitoring program. The results are ultimately used by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services in its Eat Safe Fish program for advisories around the state.

McCauley, of EGLE's Surface Water Assessment section, periodically helps MSU out by collecting and preserving fish specimens for Professor Roth's ichthyology lab classes. He also organizes fish identification workshops for EGLE aquatic biologists. The arrangement is mutually beneficial, he says. Fish monitoring also looks broadly at the fish community as an indicator of water quality over time. A big focus of fish/surface water samples is monitoring for PFAS compounds.

The correct answer to the number of species? Twenty-one, says Professor Roth.


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