Posts Tagged ‘Lateral line


Fish: Stealth vs. The Lateral Line

“A fish also uses its lateral­-­line system to determine the direction and distance to the source of a sound, sometimes with startling accuracy, and to orient itself in a current or position itself among waves. Experiments have shown that certain fish can detect and catch prey within 10 to 20 feet by using their lateral­-­line system.”

Release Trout Bead Head Pupa SBBx

“A fish’s lateral line picks up nearby or near­-­field (within 20 to 30 feet or so) low­-­frequency sound caused by water movement and turbulence, which can be caused by currents or breaking waves, by movements or activity of other animals, or by movements of the fish itself. The lateral­-­line system is extremely accurate when the sound is within 5 feet or so. The ability to sense sound through the lateral­-­line system is sometimes referred to by scientists as a “distant touch” sense.” (Source: FlyLifeMagazine)

The above sensory magic of the lateral lines points to the need for obvious stealth when wading, rowing, kicking, paddling toward an area in search of fish. 


Trout: “I feel your vibes….”

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The wary fisher knows the fish often see the approach, the waving fly rod, the ripples on the water from the splatting fly line or leader. And, we even have an awareness to wade slowly and quietly because the fish can ‘hear’ us?

Much like our own senses can combine to alert us to subtle changes, the above trout can detect changes about it that alert the fish not just to food but to predators….in particular us.

The lateral line is such a sense that allows fish to feel a presence than could be a food source or a threat, as well it aids the fish in navigation.

About the Lateral Line
Trout have inner ears, which allow them to hear sounds as we do. They also have lateral lines, special sense organs used to “feel” sounds. Lateral lines allow trout to hear sounds that are too low for humans to hear. Every trout has two lateral lines, one on each side of its body. A lateral line is made of a series of U-shaped tubes. Every time the water outside the U vibrates because of a sound, a tiny hair at the base of the U wiggles, which sends a nerve signal to the brain. The trout’s brain translates the wiggle into information about where the vibration came from. Trout use lateral lines to find food, escape predators and keep away from obstacles.’


Trout’s Lateral Line & Blushing Beauty

The lateral line, visible on the trout is for what? The usual explanation is it allows the fish to sense movement of ‘prey’ in order to avoid risk or find food. It also allows the trout, or other fish with a lateral line, to sense water pressure, which helps the fish know depth, location relative to other fish and objects and maintain their position in a migratory school.

Some studies suggest that a lack of vision (chemically induced in lab) is less important to the fish than a less efficient lateral line. The lateral line is the eyes, ears and remote touch in one placed wedged between beautiful dark olives and silver/white bellies.

It’s all more complicated than I muddled through, but again easy on that fish, when handling…nice and gentle. No squeezing, no holding it ever through/under the kill plate like some goofballs do, and again no dry hands or rough nets.

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