Rainbow Trout Devours Rodents


If you’ve ever tended a garden, you’ve likely encountered shrews and the havoc they wreak with their tunneling, chewing, and ruining of plants. Getting a cat is the common solution for taming shrews and other similar critters like moles, voles, and mice. But LiveScience reports a recent find in Alaska suggests that rainbow trout with a taste for shrews could be a better solution.

Researchers recently opened up a rainbow trout in Alaska’s Togiak National Wildlife Refuge, and were surprised to find the fish had eaten nearly 20 shrews, a mouse-size mammal.

To make matters stranger, the fish was relatively small, measuring only 19 inches (48 centimeters) long, said Mark Lisac, a fish biologist at Togiak National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.

This rainbow trout report trumps the previous record of seven shrews eaten (at least that Lisac is aware of), which was held by a grayling, another species of fish that “keys in on shrews even more” than rainbows, Lisac said.

Trout may not solve your garden’s rodent problem since they lack legs, but it may be time to break out your mouse lures and go fishing.

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Photo: Alaska Department of Fish and Game

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Shannon Rikard
Shannon Rikard is a freelance writer and photographer with a passion for conservation and wedding and portrait photography. The Archery Trade Association and National Wild Turkey Federation have published her work. A self-professed word geek, she enjoys Wheel of Fortune, crossword puzzles, and finding a dynamite synonym to illustrate any point. After starting her career in public relations with a national conservation organization, she ventured out on her own with Copper Door Studios.