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Electrofishing

Electrofishing is the most reliable and efficient method of sampling a fish population. It has been used since the 1950’s by fisheries biologists to gauge fish health and growth in lakes and rivers, and has become the method of choice by most pond management companies for sampling private ponds and lakes.

A brief electric pulse is sent into the water by electrodes that hang from booms at the front of a specially-designed aluminum boat; this pulse stuns fish in the immediate area of the boat, causing them to float to the surface where they can be netted, weighed, and measured, after which they are placed in an aerated livewell until they have recovered sufficiently to be released back into the pond. Only a small portion of the total fish population of the pond is sampled, but from this sample we can extrapolate invaluable data about what species are present in the pond, the current population dynamics among the different species, the overall health and growth rates of each species, and whether there are any diseases present. Electrofishing can also be used as an advanced management tool to quickly remove slow-growing or smaller fish of the target species in order to free up more food for the larger or fast-growing specimens.

An electrofishing survey includes a detailed, comprehensive management plan tailored expressly for your pond or lake, based on the results of the survey, with your angling goals in mind. As part of the survey, we test your pH, alkalinity, oxygen levels, and visibility, and use these parameters to further inform the plan. If weed growth is present, we take photos of it and outline management options in the plan. We visually inspect your dam, watershed, and spillway, and document the quality and quantity of fish habitat. The resultant management plan is presented as a PDF mini-book that is typically twenty-five to thirty pages long and includes full-color photographs that illustrate every aspect of the plan, laid out in order of when each action should be performed. Relative weights are provided for the target species, whether that be largemouth, bluegill, crappie, or smallmouth, to let you see how your fish compare to fast-growing fish in ideal conditions.

Pond owners commonly like to ride with us when we are shocking their pond. It’s a way for you to see firsthand what’s in your pond right now – not to mention it’s a lot of fun! Call us today and let us transform your pond into the dream fishing spot you’ve always wanted!