Fishery biologists often work odd hours, as is the case with this reservoir fish population assessment. Many fish species are more active during dawn and dusk periods, so catches are maximized by focusing sampling during these times. On this survey we began boat electrofishing in the evening and finished around midnight. By the time we removed the boat, cleaned and stowed gear, the local bar had long since closed.
This electrofishing survey is part of a FERC re-licensing consultation. The Federal Power Act gives the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) the exclusive authority to license nonfederal hydropower projects on navigable waterways and federal lands. FERC issues hydropower licenses for periods of 30 to 50 years, at which time they will re-license, decommission, or takeover a project. Most hydropower licensing involves natural resource issues and Endangered Species Act (ESA) permitting. FERC licensing addresses many issues including fish, wildlife, wetlands, historic sites, cultural resources, recreation, and public safety.