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Do Fish Go Over Niagara Falls? Do They Live?

Clipped from the Globe and Mail

It’s a cold November day on the Niagara River, barely above freezing. A steady rain beats upon the rushing water. A rainbow trout stirs deep in the river, her red band dark in the depths. Fierce river currents push her to cliff’s edge, and she falls to a pool 170 feet (50 m) below. Luckily it’s Horseshoe (where 90% of the water falls). No rocks greet her, only a pool whose bottom is 150 feet down. She plunges into the air-bubble-cushioned pool, bobs up and swims slowly away, stunned but alive.

About 90% of fish swept over Niagara Falls survive, estimates Niagara-River expert Wes Hill, who pulled about 400 human bodies from the river over the course of his 76-year life. Fish bodies, unlike humans, are built to withstand great underwater pressures, so such a fall is survivable, for a fish.

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