We here at FishOn worked with a great cop reporter named Mary Prokovich in our first full-time newspaper job at the Greenfield Recorder back in the last century.
Mary cast an unassuming shadow, but she didn't back down and she generally got right to the heart of the matter. Once, she was writing about a man — we can't remember his name, so we'll call him John Smith — who got so excited about hitting the lottery that he had a heart attack and died.
Her lead: "John Smith's number came up twice yesterday."
The story, with the lead atop it, made it through the newsroom editing process before the last editor in the composing room thought it a tad insensitive for a non-tabloid and changed it just before we went to press.
Apparently, there are no shortage of recreationally caught sport fish whose numbers are coming up twice or even more.
According to a story on Phys.org, a new study makes the case that some species of ocean sport fish that are caught and released twice are more likely to be caught again a third time than scientists previously thought.
"Fisheries researchers who work in tagging programs have long noticed that certain fish seem to get caught repeatedly, and we set out to determine the implications of this phenomenon," Jeff Buckel, co-author of the study and a professor of applied ecology at North Carolina State University, said in the story on Phys.org.
"Think of it this way," says Brendan Runde, first author of the study and a doctoral student at N.C. State. "Let's say you tagged 1,000 fish and recaptured 100 of them for a first time. After re-releasing those 100 fish, you would only expect to recapture 10 of them a second time. But that's not what we're seeing. We're seeing much higher numbers of fish getting recaptured after the second time. Our hypothesis is that this increase in catch rate stems from selection for robust individuals."
Or the dumbest fish swimming.
Think about it. You're a fish, swimming along, minding your own fish business. You get caught. Mon dieu! But they drop the charges and you're released and survive.
You get caught again. Oh the humanity! And, against all odds, dodge the gallows again. And now we learn that the odds are higher than expected that your number is going to come up again?
You know what we think? We think it really doesn't pay to be a fish.
FishOn special Thanksgiving football/baseball quiz question
Who is the only man enshrined in both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the National Baseball Hall of Fame? The answer is doing double duty down below.
Shrimp on the hoof
We here at FishOn are on record in our belief that the rustling we feel in the metaphysical treeline is further evidence that the forces of technology, nature and the animal kingdom are coming for us.
We have sounded the klaxon warning about robots and drones. We predicted the murder hornets before they even showed up and we are ever-vigilant against all things eggs. Don't believe the farmers. Eggs are not your friend.
OK, we were napping a bit when the COVID-19 thing slipped past. But we're wide awake now and bringing you news of shrimp that walk on land.
According to a piece in the New York Times, researchers have published a study in the Journal of Zoology about species of shrimp that get out of the water and walk upstream on land before re-entering their natural habitat.
Researchers, according to the Times story, staked out nine sites along a river in Thailand's Ubon Ratchatthani province and discovered shrimp parading at two of them.
“The video they recorded revealed that the shrimp parade from sundown to sunup,” the New York Times story stated. “They traveled up to 65 feet upstream. Some individual shrimp stayed out of the water for 10 minutes or more.”
Much to the delight of Watcharapong Hongjamrassilp, who embarked on the study.
“I was so surprised,” he told the Times. “I never thought a shrimp could walk that long.”
Hongjamrassilp and other scientists say they don't know why the shrimp are working on their land legs. But we here at FishOn know. Couldn't be clearer. Amphibious assaults on the human race. Someone has to start listening to us on this stuff.
FishOn special Thanksgiving football/baseball quiz answer
Cal Hubbard, a star 6-foot-4, 250-pound defensive tackle for the Giants, Packers and Pittsburgh Pirates (forerunner to the Steelers) from 1927 until 1936, was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963.
In 1976, Hubbard was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame as an umpire after spending 17 years on the base paths and behind the plate, and 18 years as baseball's supervisor of umpires.
"I'm just a big old country boy who hated to sit on the sidelines," Hubbard said. "I wanted to be in the middle of the action."
He worked four World Series and three All-Star Games and (like us) considered Ted Williams the greatest hitter of all time.
"Williams is one of he nicest kids you'd ever want to meet," Hubbard said in 1948. "He never squawks on balls or strikes and swings at anything near the plate. He's a natural, never taking a good pitch."
As always, no fish were harmed in the making of this column.
Contact Sean Horgan at 978-675-2714, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @SeanGDT