Written by Industry Expert Ben German, Fisheries Biologist
Collecting data on fish populations, which are inherently difficult to directly observe, has always presented a unique challenge to fisheries biologists. To combat this issue, a subset of the fish population is sampled (collected) and used to draw conclusions about the larger population in the water body. Many techniques to accomplish this fish collection have evolved over time with several ancient technologies like nets, weirs, traps, and lines still in use today. More recently, in the mid-20th century, biologists began exploring electrofishing surveys as a viable means to capture fish.
When performed by a trained professional, electrofishing is a safe and efficient survey method that allows biologists to obtain a complete picture of the fishery and accurately calculate important metrics. This data, evaluated in conjunction with water quality assessments, fish habitat, and stakeholder goals, provides fisheries biologists with the information needed to develop customized fisheries management plans.