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I was reading about a lake and it said that it had an electrofishing catch rate of 123 fish per hour, what is this supposed to m

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  • I was reading about a lake and it said that it had an electrofishing catch rate of 123 fish per hour, what is this supposed to m

    I was reading about a lake and it said that it had an electrofishing catch rate of 123 fish per hour, what is this supposed to mean

  • #2
    Its not a very useful statistic unless you are the agency that collected the data. They use the efishing catch rate as a relative way to calculate population density in lakes/rivers, but there is a lot that goes into calculating that estimate. Your estimate, unless you have some other information for that lake, does not directly translate into anything useful for fishermen.
    Where did you read this?

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    • #3
      I agree and disagree with matouse3. It can be somewhat useful. If you have the choice to fish two different lakes you have never been to, it could help you choose a lake.

      In VA, when they do their electrofishing, the biologist target a certain species. So for largemouth bass, they would keep track of every bass over 15in they shock within an hour. From there they do a break down of every lake so you can get an idea of which lake has a higher concentration of bass that are 15in and bigger.

      That is the somewhat useful info. But just because you know there are fish in the lake, does not mean you will catch any of them.

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      • #4
        i read it on the MN dnr website and a newspaper called MN Outdoor news

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        • #5
          You're right MB, that's what I was referring to was that the number by itself is not very useful because it is relative to other efishing catch rates, probably in surrounding lakes.
          Makes sense that you would read it in the MN dnr website, but I'm surprised there wasn't a better explanation in the MN outdoor news publication.

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          • #6
            Not sure if you know what electro fishing actually is.. Just in case, the DNR putts along the shoreline in a boat with electric probes extending out into the water around the boat. Fish shocked by current running between the probes breach on the surface when shocked and they count them. It doesn't kill the fish, just sort of stuns or spooks them for a minute. The more they see each hour, the heavier the relative fish population on the lake or river. They use this relative count to understand changes in fish population over time. The variation from lake to lake can also be understood. When they are counting over 100 fish per hour, it is an indication of a pretty dense fish population as long as they aren't blue gills or shad they are counting.

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            • #7
              good answers all, dont forget the old guys with their telephone shock count of days gone by. some still do it I'd bet.

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              • #8
                If the fish you are interested in are water column species (bass, bluegill, walleye, yellow perch....) then electrofishing catch rates are a great way to compare lakes to each other. These types of fish are more prone to being caught while electrofishing...similarly, larger fish are more prone to being captured by electrofishing since they have a larger surface area for the electricity to effect. For bottom dwelling species like catfish and sculpin, electrofishing can work, like the old crank phone boxes meantioned by CGULL above, but the data is not as reliable, as the fish do not float to the surface as effectively when shocked, preventing consistent data.

                One final interesting note about electrofishing: It only works to capture fish in freshwater. Just like lightening, the electricity in electrofishing takes the path of least resistance when traveling through the water. So, in freshwater, the electricity actually seeks the fish out and travels through the fish since it has a higher salt content (the salt is ionic, and tranfers electricity better) than the surrounding freshwater. In salt water, the electricity goes around the fish since the fish has less salt than the surrounding water, preventing the fish from being stunned. This is why you will never see electrofishing data for salt water

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                • #9
                  Agreed with RobinHood and + 1 for you sir!!!

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