TVA Checks Fish Health with "Electro-Fishing"

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Updated: 3/19/2013 7:24 pm

HARRISON, TENN. (WDEF) -- Tuesday TVA engaged in a shocking way to monitor fish health. It's called electro-fishing.

Fisheries Biologist John Justice says it's an effective way to collect scientific data.

"Electrofishing is something that is really most efficient in the shallow, littoral zones of the reservoir where we can effectively get down to six or eight feet while we're sampling," Justice said.

Justice said it's part of the Spring Sport Fish Survey.

"We have twelve runs that we're going to do today and we've completed two of those twelve runs. The guys behind me are weighing and measuring some of the fish," he said.

WDEF joined the sunrise sample at the Chickamauga Reservoir.

The fish aren't harmed in the process, and Justice says the data helps ensure that TVA operations are supporting healthy fisheries.

Justice said "This is important as a stewardship function. It's important to the local economy, and it's important to TVA and the folks in the valley to make sure that we're taking care of these resources."

Morgan Baese, a Graduate Student with a focus on environmental science, joined the sampling trip to learn more about fish species in the area.

"This is a simple process and the community can get involved and it's important and it's simple enough that it's like 'why don't more people do this?'" Baese said.

Justice describes the healthy sizes and weights of the fish caught Tuesday as 'impressive'.

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