Electrofishing is a valuable non-lethal technique for sampling fish that is commonly used in fisheries research and management. Collected fish can be identified and sampled for studies of abundance, density, and species composition. Electrofishing can also be used to relocate or remove fishes as part of construction and infrastructure operations or non-native species management. The most common methods include boat electrofishing in large aquatic environments, and backpack electrofishing in smaller rivers or streams. FISHBIO provides both boat and backpack electrofishing services, and offers equipment rentals.
During electrofishing, a regulated electric current is run from an anode to a cathode, creating an electrical field that momentarily immobilizes fish so they can be captured with nets. In boat electrofishing, anode wands are suspended in front of the boat, and the hull of the boat typically serves as a cathode. In backpacking electrofishing, the anode is a wand carried by the person wearing the backpack unit, and the cathode is a trailing cable that trails behind from the base of the backpack. The efficiency of electrofishing is influenced by water temperature, depth, conductivity, and turbidity, and fish will be affected differently depending on their size, species, orientation, and distance from the electrode.
FISHBIO conducts electrofishing in a variety of aquatic habitats, including streams, large reservoirs, small lakes and ponds, and brackish and marsh environments. Our electrofishing equipment includes a 18’ Heavy Duty Smith-Root electrofishing boat, a portable electrofishing boat platform that can be utilized with an 18-ft. Alumaweld jet boat or 16-ft. North River, and a number of Smith-Root LR-24 backpack electroshockers. Contact us to learn more about our electrofishing services.