As site excavations and development may lead to sediment input into rivers and streams, any energy development has the potential to have an impact on the water quality of watercourses. This can cause pollution, permanent loss of habitat for aquatic life – and restricted movement of fish. With this in mind, INIS Ecology offers Electro-fishing – a technique used by fisheries’ biologists to sample fish populations in rivers to determine the health of these systems. The condition of the fish and their age classes can indicate the quality of the waterway and how important it is for sustaining fish life.

Using a hand-held electro fishing device, an electric current is passed through the water. This temporarily stuns the fish while causing them no harm. Once the stunned fish are collected, recording of biometric data can begin – which involves determining what species are present as well as their size, weight and age class. We can also find out if there are any invasive species in the river (those not indigenous to the area). Once biometrics are recorded, fish are returned unharmed to the water.

Electro-fishing and Your Project

We may recommend electrofishing is included for your project when:

  • There are any in-stream works proposed;
  • When the health of a fish population needs to be quantified;
  • When fish translocation is needed. Bridge foundations being constructed could potentially harm fish. Fish need to be removed from the area where work is planned and translocated away from the works’ area.