#Sciencedeskdigs: Backpack Electrofisher

#sciencedeskdigs: Nic Medley
NPS Photo/ M.Reed
Nic Medley, a Fisheries Biologist with the Water Resource Division, explains what is inside the pelican case in his cubicle.

What is that?
It’s a backpack electrofisher—an invaluable tool for sampling fish in our national parks. The electrofisher passes an electric current through the water to momentarily stun fish so they can be caught by a net. When used properly, it doesn’t cause lasting harm to the fish. It requires one person to carry and operate and usually a few people to net fish and carry buckets. The backpack can get very heavy after a long day, but the information we get from using this tool helps answer important questions about the health of native fish populations within parks, allowing us to better protect them. We recently used the electrofisher on the Niobrara River National Scenic Riverway in Nebraska.

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Last updated: March 8, 2018