Electrofishing refers to the process of using electricity to capture fish. Despite the name, it is actually an effective, safe and humane way of sampling that doesn’t cause death or long-term harm. As a result, electrofishing is commonly used in ponds, lakes, rivers and streams.

Aquatic Environment Consultants (AEC) offers its clients electrofishing and related management services. We provide comprehensive service to lakes and ponds throughout the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. To learn more about what’s involved and whether or not electrofishing is the right choice for your property, contact our office to speak with a representative and arrange a consultation.

How Electrofishing Works

In streams and small areas, electrofishing may be done with a backpack-mounted electrofishing unit, and in larger ponds or lakes, with a specially equipped boat. A qualified technician uses a boat equipped with two electrodes to send a mild current from one point to another. This electrical current is used to guide fish and, when they cross its path, to temporarily stun them. The stunning effect only lasts a few seconds, during which time a second technician will net the fish and transfer them into a holding tank, where they can be identified, and weighed. Electrofishing surveys provide important information about the health of your fishery and, by extension, your lake or pond’s ecosystem as a whole.

Why Is Electrofishing Performed?

Electrofishing provides valuable insights about fish populations in a lake or pond. Some of the main reasons electrofishing is performed include:

  • Stock assessment. Stock assessment lets you know what types of fish are present in your lake or pond and how viable their populations are. As a result, it is possible to identify when stocks are being overfished and make informed decisions that protect the long-term health of your aquatic ecosystem.
  • Health surveying. Health surveying is a subsection of fish stock assessment that looks specifically at factors such as growth rates and condition. Scale samples can be collected to determine age structures and other data related to the overall health of the population.
  • Species elimination. Invasive species such as Asian Carp can pose a serious existential risk to native fish stocks. Elimination through electrofishing is sometimes necessary to stop problems in the early stages and protect the viability of your lake or pond’s ecosystem.

An AEC representative will only recommend electrofishing if we feel it offers the best way of accomplishing these or other goals. For more information, book a consultation with one of our technicians today.

Benefits of Electrofishing

Electrofishing offers a number of benefits when compared to other methods of capture:

  • Most fish find the process painless and stress-free and suffer no permanent health effects. Once the process is complete, they are released back into the lake or pond as quickly as possible.
  • Electrofishing is also highly effective. As a result, technicians spend less time in the water, reducing the potential for disruption or damage to the lake itself.
  • Because it uses no lines, bait or other tools, electrofishing doesn’t collect unwanted species or leave behind foreign objects that can injure fish.

Like all types of fishing, if done improperly, electrofishing has the potential to cause harm or even death to vulnerable animals. For that reason, it’s important to work with an organization you can trust.

AEC has more than 30 years of experience managing lakes and ponds of all sizes. Our technicians have the training and the specialized equipment necessary to perform electrofishing safely and humanely as part of an overall fish management program. Contact our office to schedule your consultation today.

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