View Full Version : How To Determine the Age of A Fish

07-22-2007, 07:59 AM
How To Determine The Age Of A Fish
This is some really neat and useful information that will allow you to determine the age of a fish. So how can we determine a fishes age? Each fish holds that information on each and every scale of its body.

Scrape a few scales off of the next fish you catch and then use a jewelers lens or something more powerful to magnify the fish scales. You will notice that each scale has a series of rings on it, one inside the other, like the rings of a tree. Also like the rings of a tree, one ring is added to each scale per year.

Like many other living things fish grow rapidly at different periods throughout the year and then slow down at others, at times they even stop growing. The time period in which the fish stops growing, normally winter is when an additional ring will be formed on its scales.

The exception to this rule is fish that live in warm climates, which dont see drastic temperature changes during each seasons change.

The space and size of a ring can also indicate how much growth has taken place within the fishes life during the past years.

Darryl Morris
07-22-2007, 07:32 PM
The fisheries biologists for the lake I fish disect the inner ear bone out of the fish's head and use it for determining their age. In fact, we gave them a head not too long ago and haven't heard the verdict yet. Guess I'll have to give them a call. Just as a rule of thumb for warmer climates I've called it 3 years to 10" and about an inch each year thereafter.