By Bruce Auchly
FWP Region 4 Information Officer 

Montana Tales and Trails

What are fish doing these days?


February 1, 2019

FWP photo

FWP's Marc Kloker shows a bluegill in winter

Ever wonder on a cold, snowy winter day what fish are doing under the ice?

The short answer is: about the same as the rest of the year. They breathe, eat and try to avoid being eaten. There are, however, some differences in winter.

First, it's important to remember that freshwater fish like reptiles and amphibians are coldblooded. (Scientists prefer the more precise word, poikilotherms, but we'll forgive them.)

That means their body temperatures are controlled through external means, in this case, water temperature. They do not maintain a constant body temperature like us mammals.

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