Like all animals, fish have to survive and grow big enough come reproduce. Fish the make it to adulthood and to spawning time usage a variety of strategies to ensure successful reproduction. This class looks at the determinants that enter keeping a fish species alive while assessing the life bicycle of an excellent Lakes fish.

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Grade level: 4-8 grades

Performance Expectations:

3-LS1.1 From molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes. Develop models to explain that organisms have actually unique and diverse life cycles, but all have birth, growth, reproduction and also death in common.

For alignment, see: Fish Life cycle NGSS Summary

Lesson Objectives

Name step of the fish life cycle.Describe two general pet reproductive strategies.Contrast the reproductive methods of at the very least two good Lakes fish.Diagram development from egg, larval fish, fry, juvenile, adult.


Each fish varieties has a unique reproductive strategy and also favors specific habitats for spawning and for early breakthrough of their recently hatched young. Many great Lakes fish have the right to be uncovered in shallow water during component of their life cycle. Many varieties use shallow waters that lakes or rivers together spawning habitat either in the feather or fall. Some, such as northern pike, like wetlands through aquatic vegetation. Rather such together lake whitefish prefer shallow reefs, which carry out rich locations for food and also rocky structure to safeguard the eggs and also later the fry.

Fish life cycles vary among species. In general, however, fish development through the following life cycle stages:

Eggs: Fertilized eggs build into fish. Most eggs perform not endure to maturity also under the best conditions. Threats to egg include alters in water temperature and also oxygen levels, flooding or sedimentation, predators and disease.Larval: Larval fish live off a yolk sac fastened to your bodies. Once the yolk sac is completely absorbed, the young fish are dubbed fry.Fry: fry are all set to begin eating on their own. Fried food undergo several an ext developmental stages, which differ by species, together they mature into adults. Young fish room generally taken into consideration fry during their first couple of months (during your first few months to simply less than one year in some species).Juvenile: the moment fish spend developing from fry into reproductively mature adults varies amongst species. Many fish perform not make it through to come to be adults. Risks to survival encompass fluctuations in water temperature, transforms in oxygen levels, competition because that habitat and predators.Adult: once fish space able come reproduce, lock are thought about adults. The moment it bring away to with maturity different among types and individual fish. Fish with much shorter life spans reach maturity faster. Because that example, female round gobies maturation in approximately one year and live for two to 3 years. Lake sturgeon have the right to live indigenous 80-150 years, but females don’t reach maturity till they are around 25 year old.

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Spawning: woman fish release eggs right into the water (either right into the water column or into a nest) and also male fish fertilize egg by releasing milt. Not all eggs are fertilized. Part fish spawn yearly after getting to maturity, others spawn at intervals (every four years, for example), while others spawn just once and then die.

Assessment & Standards

See different document: class Assessment, State that Michigan contents Expectations and National BenchmarksLesson Assessment, State of Michigan content Expectations and National Benchmarks (PDF)