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What would minks be looking for next to a seasonal irrigation canal after dark?


A few nights ago I saw some minks in the grass right next to a seasonal irrigation canal that is dry most of the year shortly after dark.

The irrigation canal has no fish or crawdads in it, because its only full for a short time.

Would the monks have been going down to it for water or would they have been hunting something else?

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There are probably various critters that frequent the area, whether flooded or not. Probably most of them make good mink chow. Olin Lathrop 11 days ago

1 answer


You are beginning with a false premise "The irrigation canal has no fish or crawdads in it, because its only full for a short time."

Abstract.—Irrigation canals can be a major source of mortality for fish in the Rocky Mountain region. Our study looked at how fish were affected by the irrigation canal system in the Smiths Fork, a tributary to the Bear River in western Wyoming. Source

In most cases it is not known whether fish in canals are actively reproducing or whether they are only periodically recruited from the natural waterways. Source

Even if the canal water has some physical means of preventing fish from entering, the influx of water could have profound effect on many creatures the mink eat, who may live in the area of canal.

Mink eat just about any type of animal that lives in and near water, including fish, frogs, ducks, crayfish, eggs, lizards, grubs, earthworms, mice, and muskrats. Source

Mice, lizards, and earthworms, may have been dwelling in burrows in the canal that suddenly flooded, and now they are homeless and easy prey.


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