How Fish Are Affected by the Solar Eclipse August 22, 2017


A very rare and spectacular occurrence is upon us, on August 21st, 2017, most of the U.S. will be in the direct path of a total solar eclipse, which hasn’t occurred in almost a century. The last time an eclipse was visible as a partial or total solar eclipse by the entire continental U.S. was on June 8th, 1918. The total eclipse or direct path will go from Salem, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. Most of the other states that are not under the direct path of the eclipse will see no less that 50% coverage, or a partial eclipse. Here in Texas, we will see the moon cover over half of the sun, while those in Florida will see about 75% coverage. While this event is no doubt fascinating and a wonder to behold, what does that mean for the Gulf Coast?


Fish are undoubtedly effected by many of their environment’s subtle variables, and a solar eclipse is no different. Although the eclipse will only last a few minutes, the normal patterns that our Texas game fish follow will change. According to a study from the University of Moncton in Canada, species that are in shallow enough water to be effected by differences in light from night and day will think that it is dawn and begin to exhibit night-time behaviors like hunkering down and retreating to reefs and deep cuts. Once the eclipse has passed, fish will resume their normal activity after a few minutes.


Written by: Urs E. Schmid, President of “Know Before You Go”