Bluegills to the rescue?

Posted by Emily Kimball: Did you know the native North American bluegill could potentially help us avoid drinking contaminated water? The very small bluegill fish have recently been used in a study to help scientist detect possible contaminated water. The bluegill fish is extremely susceptible to changes in water quality.  These fish are put into a large tank that is divided by a panel that doesn’t allow them to see each other. The everyday water that you and I drink is pipe-fed into the tanks that have electrodes in the tanks as well. The electrodes monitor the fishes breathing patterns and send data to a computer. As soon as six out of the eight fish signal a change in their breathing patterns as well as behavior scientist are immediately notified so that they can come and test the water for potential deadly toxins. This study is extremely intelligent and useful in that we can use a natural element to test the water that we consume.

One thought on “Bluegills to the rescue?”

  1. What I really like about this is that we are not looking for fatality (which would signal a huge problem), but a much more sensitive measure – stress. This is a great development. Good article!

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