Fish Salvage Using Backpack Electro Fishers

Andrew JohnsonNatural Resources, Online Courses2 Comments

Fish Salvage using Electrofishers - Environmental Monitoring

Environmental Monitors get Electrifying Results with these Unique Techniques!

Even though they look like a device from Ghostbusters, Backpack Electrofishers are actually a significantly useful tool in salvaging fish and carrying out baseline aquatic assessments.

Electrofishers use the technique of depositing electricity into areas of water, in order to capture and remove fish from project sites. Keep in mind – this technique is restricted from anyone who does not possess the proper electrofisher training and who does not have the successful completion of the certification course.

Electrofishing is dependent on the amount of voltage applied to the area in proximity to the fish that are to be relocated. When applied, the current flows in field lines from the anode to the cathode of the electrofisher device. A few factors that are essential to effectively utilizing an electrofisher include being within a particular range of the fish, and also depends on water chemistry, temperature, quality, clarity and conductivity. Once the electrofisher is applied to the stream, nearby fish will be stunned by the voltage in the water, allowing certified Environmental Monitors to remove them from the project site.

Additional gear that should be worn by any professional using an electro fisher includes polarized glasses, linesman gloves, and water-proof, dry waders.

For electrofishing baseline assessment, a strategy called ‘3 pass removal’ is performed. In this process, an Environmental Monitor will make an initial pass through a designated water zone, using the electro fisher, and will record the number of fish removed. This process will be carried out 2 more times, each time (hopefully) yielding a lower number of fish consecutively. From here, a simple formula is used to roughly calculate how many fish were in that specific zone. With this information, the Environmental monitor is then able to proceed with biomass and density-type estimates.

Learn more about these types of interesting and sustainable techniques in the Fish and Fish Habitat course offered in UNBC Continuing Studies’ Environmental Monitoring Certificate today!

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