Many planktivorous fishes forage in currents, where they actively maintain position and visually strike at current-entrained zooplankton. In general, the zooplankton are wafted by the foraging fish at a rate equivalent to the current velocity. From a fish's viewpoint the plankton approach either head-on or offset at varied distances from the fish's position. We present a model that describes the relative motion of particles as they approach and pass a foraging fish at different offset distances, and the rate of change in apparent size as they close on a fish. In addition, a series of experiments of fish feeding on plankton in a flume at increasing current velocities revealed that two basic tactics are utilized. At low current velocities (< 10-14 cm s-1), the fish swims toward the prey, whereas at higher current velocities the fish tends to fall back with the current to capture a prey item. The model and experimental results are discussed in terms of the visual problems associated with the detection and tracking of items in motion.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Aquatic Science
- Current velocity
- Planktivorous fish
- Relative motion plankton