Vocabulary: Cool School!

Definitions and Context

Angler: a person who fishes for recreation (not a commercial fisherman)
Context: The anglers were lined up on the pier enjoying their sport.

Brackish water: a mixture of saltwater and freshwater, such as where the river meets the gulf.
Context: The brackish water of the estuary is caused by freshwater from the rivers mixing with saltwater from the gulf.

Ectothermic: body temperature changes according to the air temperature
Context: Many fish are ectothermic, the temperature of the water determines the temperature of the fish.

Endothermic: body temperature stays stable when air temperature changes
Context: Birds and mammals can live in cold places because they are endothermic and can stay warm in spite of the cold air.

Freshwater: water that is not salty, such as rivers, creeks and lakes
Context: After a hard rainstorm the muddy freshwater pours from the river into the bay.

Fry: small young fish that have recently hatched
Context: Tiny fry hide in the floating water plants.

Gulf: large marine body of water, partially enclosed by land
Context: Most of the rivers in Texas flow into the Gulf of Mexico.

Ichthyologist: a person who studies fish
Context: The ichthyologist does his research at the fish hatchery.

Marine: Growing, living in, or frequenting saltwater
Context: The hardhead catfish is marine, but the channel catfish is found in freshwater.

Pelagic: living in the open water
Context: Pelagic fish such as the albacore often are dark on top and light underneath.

Plankton: organisms that float or drift in their aquatic habitat
Context: Oysters and the great blue whale both consume plankton.

Predator: an animal that kills and eats other animals
Context: River otters are predators of bass which are predators of sunfish.

Riparian: located or relating to the banks of a stream, river, or other body of water.
Context: Disturbance of riparian habitat can affect water quality in the river.

Saltwater: water with salt naturally in it, such as oceans and seas
Context: Fish that can live in saltwater often can't survive in freshwater.

Scales: small, flat pieces that overlap and cover many fish
Context: Fish scales, like snake scales, are for protection.

Silt: small bits of soil, dirt, sand and rock particles that settle in waterways and low areas
Context: Silt from erosion can destroy spawning sites.

Spawning: to produce and deposit eggs
Context: Silt from erosion can destroy spawning sites.


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