Our work often calls for quick thinking and adaptability. Last year, we ran into a situation where we had to come up with an electrofishing boat in a hurry (see How to fabricate an electrofishing boat in 24 hours). Luckily, our master fabricators were able to modify one of our smaller boats with the necessary components to get the job done. Since we are always looking for innovative ways to be more efficient and flexible, we recently came up with a system that will help us be just that. Rather than dedicating a boat or two to electrofishing only, we wanted to have an easy way retrofit any of our boats with an electrofishing system. Our solution was to build a lightweight electrofishing deck that can attach to the bow of a boat and be ready for action without much setup time.
We fabricated our electrofishing deck out of lightweight aluminum to make it portable enough for two people to lift into place and limit the effect on boat performance. The platform is complete with pole-mounted anodes, diodes, lights, safety rails and a non-slip floor. Once the deck is in place, a generator and the heart of the system, a Smith-Root GPP electrofisher, are placed at the stern of the boat. Thanks to the creativity and innovation of our master fabricators, we can now quickly adapt any of our boats for electrofishing and get back out on the water in a hurry.