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Sonicrunch

Bluegills fight terrorism

4 posts in this topic

I thought you guys would find this interenting.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/09/18/terror.fish.ap/index.html

Quote:

SAN FRANCISCO, California (AP) -- A type of fish so common that practically every American kid who ever dropped a fishing line and a bobber into a pond has probably caught one is being enlisted in the fight against terrorism.

San Francisco, New York, Washington and other big cities are using bluegills -- also known as sunfish or bream -- as a sort of canary in a coal mine to safeguard their drinking water.

Small numbers of the fish are kept in tanks constantly replenished with water from the municipal supply, and sensors in each tank work around the clock to register changes in the breathing, heartbeat and swimming patterns of the bluegills that occur in the presence of toxins.

"Nature's given us pretty much the most powerful and reliable early warning center out there," said Bill Lawler, co-founder of Intelligent Automation Corporation, a Southern California company that makes and sells the bluegill monitoring system. "There's no known manmade sensor that can do the same job as the bluegill."

Since September 11, the government has taken very seriously the threat of attacks on the U.S. water supply. Federal law requires nearly all community water systems to assess their vulnerability to terrorism.

Big cities employ a range of safeguards against chemical and biological agents, constantly monitoring, testing and treating the water. But electronic protection systems can trace only the toxins they are programmed to detect, Lawler said.

Bluegills -- a hardy species about the size of a human hand -- are considered more versatile. They are highly attuned to chemical disturbances in their environment, and when exposed to toxins, they experience the fish version of coughing, flexing their gills to expel unwanted particles.

The computerized system in use in San Francisco and elsewhere is designed to detect even slight changes in the bluegills' vital signs and send an e-mail alert when something is wrong.

San Francisco's bluegills went to work about a month ago, guarding the drinking water of more than 1 million people from substances such as cyanide, diesel fuel, mercury and pesticides. Eight bluegills swim in a tank deep in the basement of a water treatment plant south of the city.

"It gave us the best of both worlds, which is basically all the benefits that come from nature and the best of high-tech," said Susan Leal, general manager of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

New York City has been testing its system since 2002 and is seeking to expand it. The New York City Department of Environmental Protection reported at least one instance in which the system caught a toxin before it made it into the water supply: The fish noticed a diesel spill two hours earlier than any of the agency's other detection devices.

They do have limitations. While the bluegills have successfully detected at least 30 toxic chemicals, they cannot reliably detect germs. And they are no use against other sorts of attacks -- say, the bombing of a water main, or an attack by computer hackers on the systems that control the flow of water.

Still, Lawler said more than a dozen other cities have ordered the anti-terror apparatus, called the Intelligent Aquatic BioMonitoring System, which was originally developed for the Army and starts at around $45,000.

San Francisco plans to install two more bluegill tanks.

"It provides us an added level of detection of the unknown," said Tony Winnicker, a spokesman for the city's Public Utilities Commission. "There's no computer that's as sophisticated as a living being."


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Very interesting and a great idea, but how much do you wanna bet that PETA will be all over this one

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What do they do with the poop?

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It's Califoirnia they have a catalytic converter installed.... grin.gif

They are not in the main basin, they are in a tank fed by same water, besides water gets treated before getting to town, think at Lake Mead....

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  • Posts

    • fins_n'_feathers

      Posted

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    • curt quesnell

      Posted

      Close to home is possible, try those places first?  I will be out this weekend (if this cold doesnt kill me first)  Better luck next time fins

    • Ok so every year Try to get the guys from work on a fishing trip. Trying to decide on where to go we usually rent a cabin and run portables.

      I am thinking Devils lake, LOW, or Red

      Devils we would do the lodge ice house package because the deal is too good to mess with bringing a trailer and sled or wheelers with.

       

      what would you choose and any other suggestions Leech or Vermillion?

    • I plan on taking all my ice fishing equipment out of my shed this week I cant wait

    • fins_n'_feathers

      Posted

      any  reports from today? we pounded through the washing machine waves all day and got nothing! Lead core,jigging, spinners haha! Ended up getting all our keepers within a mile of home when it was all over! Who else was out there? Am I the only one that did poor today?

    • proguide

      Posted

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    • leech~~

      Posted

      26 minutes ago, DANR said:

      From the fall Pelican Lakes Association newsletter - DNR Fisheries Update:

      You may have heard about the 454 adult cormorantsthat were removed from Gooseberrry Island this May by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services Unit under a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  DNR staff looked at the stomach contents of 30 birds. Eleven of those birds had stomach contents including: 38 perch (mostly 4- inchers), 7 spot-tail shiners, 7 bluegills, 6 crappies, 1 rock bass, 1 pike, and zero walleyes.

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    • FishinCT

      Posted

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    • gizmoguy

      Posted

      Go with steel. Contact Isle supply.

    • From the fall Pelican Lakes Association newsletter - DNR Fisheries Update:

      You may have heard about the 454 adult cormorantsthat were removed from Gooseberrry Island this May by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services Unit under a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  DNR staff looked at the stomach contents of 30 birds. Eleven of those birds had stomach contents including: 38 perch (mostly 4- inchers), 7 spot-tail shiners, 7 bluegills, 6 crappies, 1 rock bass, 1 pike, and zero walleyes. 



  • Posts

    • fins_n'_feathers
      Usually we skip the the river until later in the year but it was the cleanest water we found and the only place we caught any fish. Heading out now to give it another try.
    • curt quesnell
      Close to home is possible, try those places first?  I will be out this weekend (if this cold doesnt kill me first)  Better luck next time fins
    • ZachD
      Ok so every year Try to get the guys from work on a fishing trip. Trying to decide on where to go we usually rent a cabin and run portables. I am thinking Devils lake, LOW, or Red Devils we would do the lodge ice house package because the deal is too good to mess with bringing a trailer and sled or wheelers with.   what would you choose and any other suggestions Leech or Vermillion?
    • ZachD
      I plan on taking all my ice fishing equipment out of my shed this week I cant wait
    • fins_n'_feathers
      any  reports from today? we pounded through the washing machine waves all day and got nothing! Lead core,jigging, spinners haha! Ended up getting all our keepers within a mile of home when it was all over! Who else was out there? Am I the only one that did poor today?