CCA-Sponsored Electrofishing Helps Determine Health of Lagoon Fisheries

By Doug Painter

Professional fisheries biologists and CCA volunteers, both young and old, recently spent a day together on an electrofishing project aimed at better determining the health and size distribution of fish in our island’s freshwater lagoons.

“Electrofishing is one of our science-based management efforts that, along with our salinity testing and seining projects, helps ensure healthy and abundant fish populations throughout our lagoon,” notes CCA Board Member Rich Hackett.

As the name implies, electrofishing uses electricity to temporarily stun fish so they can be weighed and measured. The process is not harmful to fish, which return to their natural state within a few minutes. A key index of electrofishing is to determine predator/prey ratios in our freshwater lagoons. Our main predator species are largemouth bass and black crappie. Prey species include bluegill, redear sunfish, threadfin shad, and gizzard shad.

The optimum goal is to help create a balanced lagoon that is the most desirable for all our fish species. This balance is characterized by a healthy distribution of bass and bluegill over a wide range of sizes and age classes.

Hackett, who has been coordinating the electrofishing program for the past decade, reminds everyone that this program is made possible by CCA island volunteers and is wholly supported by donations from Skidaway CCA members and supporters.

 “A healthy lagoon system results not only in better fishing but also a better habitat for a range of native species, from herons and egrets to osprey and bald eagles,” he said. “Our lagoons are the best they’ve been in a decade and can continue to improve. We have great all-around angling in our lagoons, including some true, trophy-sized bass!”



This article was originally published by The Landings Association on their website.

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