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a commercial method of catching fish based on their characteristic responses to an electric current passing through the body.

Depending on the intensity of the current (direct or pulsating), three stages are distinguished: (1) frightened repulsion, (2) direct movement toward the anode, and (3) electronarcosis. Any of the three stages may be used in electrofishing; the boundaries of the stages depend on the species, size, and physiological state of the fish. Moreover, the reactions of fish of various species depend on the duration and frequency of the pulses. In electrofishing the current passes through the fish when they enter an electrical field between electrodes located in the water and connected to the source of the current. Direct currents are used in freshwater; they are produced by a relatively weak electric generator. Electrofishing with a pulsating current is more suitable in saltwaters, since less electricity is required.

The main types of electrofishing are electrified trawling and netless fishing. To catch benthic fish the electrodes are placed in the mouth of the trawl; the parameters of the electric pulses are selected so as to cause an anode reaction in the fish and not let them escape under the lower edge of the trawl. To catch fish inhabiting deep waters the electronarcosis effect is produced. The electrodes are placed in the front of the bag section of the trawl; fish entering the space between the electrodes are narcotized and washed to the back, accelerating formation of the catch and reducing loss of fish from the trawl. Netless electrofishing is used to catch fish having a pronounced anode reaction; under the influence of the current the fish head for the pump area. Electrofishing with pulsating currents is often used in combination with light fishing.

To increase the efficiency of electrofishing, research is being conducted on selecting the parameters and configuration of the electric field, the intensity of the current, and the repetition frequency of the pulses.


Sternin, V. G., I. V. Nikonorov, and Iu. K. Bumeister. Elektrolov ryby. Moscow, 1972.


References in periodicals archive ?
tanasi at other sites in the French Board River nor in the Holston River, including sites where we had previously collected them by electrofishing.
Four Environmental Agency officers were called in yesterday to investigate, using the electrofishing technique to assess conditions in the fishing pond.
Adult white perch (22 males, 5 females) were collected in May 2002 in Cootes Paradise by electrofishing.
0 m seine, with the exception of 3 samples obtained by pulsed direct-current electrofishing.
mapping in cooperation with the Passaic County Depar tment of Health and an electrofishing survey conducted by the NJDEP, Division of Fish and Wildlife.
Electrofishing was used only in those streams with low salinities ([less than] 1 ppt), such as the headwaters of streams.
5-m frames, and 22-m leads), while carp in Pelican Lake were collected with pulsed-DC (200-250 V, 3-6 A) boat electrofishing in July of 2006.
Since their rediscovery, more than 100 northern pike have been recovered from the lake, mostly by electrofishing by DFG biologists conducted in the nearshore areas of the lake.
Restored fishery: Electrofishing has confirmed that Lahontan cutthroat, the native trout of the Lake Tahoe Basin, has become re-established in the Upper Truckee River after a 57-year absence, according to the Department of Fish and Game.
Sampling efficiency (bias) is associated with electrofishing collection gear (Reynolds 1996); but based on our observed catch, we did not feel this materially altered our conclusions, as we were able to sample to the bottom of the stream bed in all habitats.
Fish were collected with a Smith-Root pulsed DC electrofishing tote-barge (using 2-3 amps and 30 pulses per second).