With help from Rogue Ales researchers in Oregon have come up with an unlikely GPS-like aid to help salmon find their way back to their spawning grounds.
And we’ve got to ask “is there anything beer can’t do?”
According to Oregon Live “Salmon rear in the ocean and use geo-magnetic navigation to return to nearshore areas where they entered the sea. From there, they switch to scents unique to their home rivers, streams and, hopefully sooner rather than later, hatcheries.”
When salmon are born they hone into the scent of their surroundings, imprinting the smell to their memory and leaving traces of its molecules through the water that enable them to return to the same spot as adults to lay eggs of their own.
And in an effort to make that critical return journey back to the hatcheries where they were born easier to navigate, researchers at the Oregon Hatchery Research Center have been experimenting with different ingredients that make a significant impression on the fish to guide them home.
Some of the compounds that the researcher are exploring as a GPS aid include extract of shrimp, tincture of watercress; skin of steelhead, and bile of minnow.
But the team has happened upon a compound that is proving super-successful and it’s a byproduct of the brewing process, a substance called ‘trub’ which is basically a gooey mess of un-fermentable fats, proteins, and yeast.
And this unneeded brewing residue which was collected from the vats of the Rogue Ales in Newport, Oregon have become the latest hope in the Pacific Northwest’s quest for salmon restoration.
“Oregon beer may end up saving Oregon salmon,” said Marc A. Johnson, holder of an Oregon State University doctorate in fisheries science and molecular genetics, explained to The Oregonian and “the brewery is completely on board.”
Beer, is there anything it can’t do?
And while we’re at it….