What does a Fisheries Biologist do?

A biologist who studies fish in both native and nonnative habitats is known as a fisheries biologist. Population numbers, migration patterns, breeding statistics, and ecological impacts are all investigated this type of professional. Many fisheries biologists specialize in a particular lake or fish species. The majority of their time is spent in the field, observing conditions and collecting soil and water samples, as well as living plant and fish specimens. Scientists analyze field samples in specially designed laboratories to determine pollution levels and other factors that could affect an ecosystem. A fisheries biologist may work for the government, a private research institution, a nonprofit environmental organization, or a fish hatchery.

Large fish populations, especially those found in a lake, river, or stream, can be difficult to study thoroughly. A skilled fisheries biologist will typically devote months, if not years, to researching a single species, putting in hours of field research each day. He or she might be interested in tracking changes in population size or behavior over time. A fisheries biologist can become familiar enough with a species of fish to predict future events observing animal behaviors such as eating and mating habits. He or she could use this information to direct hatchery activity or determine the best times of year to fish for a specific species.

Many specialists study the long-term effects of other species, pollution, or climate change on a fish population. They collect living and nonliving samples from a specific area and analyze them in a lab. To study samples at the molecular level, biologists use sophisticated laboratory equipment such as microscopes. Highly qualified experts could use their genetics knowledge to explain evolutionary changes in a fish species.

Fisheries biologists frequently organize their findings and publish comprehensive scientific papers about them. They may publish informational journals to promote the importance of environmental or species protection efforts, or they may promote the publication of informational journals to improve the general understanding of a fish. They may also write brochures and books about a specific lake or species of fish in order to better inform tourists, anglers, and other biologists about the area. Many biologists participate actively in public awareness campaigns about pollution control and sustainability.

A bachelor’s degree in general biology, limnology, aquatic biology, zoology, or a related scientific discipline is typically required to work as a fisheries biologist. Bachelor’s degree holders can usually gather and analyze samples with the help of a team of field researchers. Individuals with master’s or doctoral degrees in fisheries biology can lead teams on important projects and conduct independent research studies.