Electrofishing is the use of electricity to capture or control aquatic animals. Target species or assemblages are typically fishes, however this technique has been found effective for sampling amphibians and aquatic insects. There are many gear types for capture including electrofishing boats, rafts, tow-barges, backpacks, electric seines, shore-based, and pre-positioned. Electricity also is used for fish barriers and for anesthesia.
In the United States, the use of electrofishing technology began in the 1920’s. Due to the fact that electrofishing often is the most effective gear type for sampling freshwater fishes, electrofishing is now commonly employed in North America, Eurasia, Australia, and New Zealand, while gaining use in other parts of the world as well.
Often, however, electrofishing sampling is unsatisfactory (low effectiveness, high variance) due to reasons that include equipment limitations, insufficient understanding of equipment function, inadequate electrode design, and a lack of guidance regarding proper settings given prevailing water conditions and target species.
Electrofishing.net serves as a resource to address these factors and help biologists tackle sampling issues and increase the efficiency and standardization of electrofishing. Other important topics include crew safety, trauma to electrofished animals, equipment selection, maintenance, and trouble-shooting, and recommended manufacturers and models. Resources include Apps, software, videos, case studies, written protocols and policies, presentations, sources for recommended training courses, news and events, and an email based forum.
The website combines the expertise of Dr Tom Rayner, former fish ecologist turned science communicator, Dr Alan Temple, US Fish & Wildlife electrofishing instructor, and Dr Jan Dean, developer of US Fish & Wildlife electrofishing tools.
We hope you find electrofishing.net informative and useful. Please come back often and tell others about this site!