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Electrofishing Surveys

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pond surveys with electrofishing

Electrofishing is the best method to learn what lurks in your lake.

The first step in creating the perfect fish pond is to understand the types, sizes and health of the fish already there.

Electrofishing is the technique preferred by biologists for inventorying a fish population. At Lochow Ranch, our custom outfitted electrofishing boats bring you state-of-the-art technology for the most accurate fish surveys.

Why Electrofishing?

It’s important to get an accurate picture of your lake’s current population. What types of fish are present and how big are they? What needs to change to meet the goals for your fishing hole? Are there invasive species disrupting your pond’s ecosystem? Is there sufficient forage to grow trophy bass?

The traditional method of fish surveys involves simply catching fish, logging them and releasing them. But there is too much uncertainty in this method. There are too many variables — gear, bait, timing, technique, conditions — to be sure that what you catch is an accurate reflection of the population.

Electrofishing takes out the variables and the guesswork. That’s why it is the preferred method of fish surveys for biologists and fishery management experts. It involves passing an electric current through the water to briefly stun the fish so they can be assessed and logged. When conducted by experienced professionals, electrofishing has no impact on your pond or fish population. 

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Our custom electrofishing boats are designed to ensure the survey process is safe and efficient.

They feature extra-large live well pumps and soft nets so that the survey is stress-free for your fish.

We usually conduct surveys at the start of a lake improvement project and then periodically to track changes to the fish population.

Electrofishing service in Texas Lousiana Arkansas Oklahoma

Electricity is passed through the water by two types of electrodes, the anode (positive) and the cathode (negative).

The fish experience a muscle response reaction called taxis, which causes them to swim toward the anode.

Once a fish reaches the anode it is stunned for a few seconds. At this point, the fish are netted and put into a holding tank for observation.

The goal is to get a complete sample of fish from the lake so we can characterize the population as a whole. 


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The fish are examined for species to determine abundance, population density and other characteristics. They are weighed measured and released unharmed. They return to their normal state in a matter of a few moments.

In cases where an undesirable fish has been stunned during the process, we can remove that fish from your lake.

The inventory of fish that results helps us determine the right course of action to meet your goals for your fishery. We will understand fish population proportions and health.

Think of the electrofishing survey as a snapshot of your fish population. It becomes a reference point for improvement plans, stocking and tracking your progress.

Get started on your private pond paradise

Learn more about how we help

See why Lochow Ranch is the electrofishing service company of choice throughout Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Serving Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana, our experts proudly put our decades of experience to work for you. Our team includes biologists, technicians and other professionals with experience in all aspects of pond and lake management. Our focus is on meeting your goals and making your lake ecosystem the best it can be.

No. When conducted by experienced, certified professionals, electrofishing is non-intrusive and temporarily stuns fish so they can be logged as part of a sample.

Depending on conditions we might be able to see all the fish but it is not really necessary to do so. The goal is to get a large enough sample that we can use to characterize the fish population as a whole. 

Yes, using electrofishing to remove undesirable species is an effective method of removal.

Industry-leading fishery management

When the fishing industry experts at Bassmaster set out to renovate a lake in Alabama for its video series on creating a great bass fishery, they turned to Lochow Ranch for our pond and fishery management expertise, including our state-of-the-art electrofishing service.

Click here to learn more about our fishery management services for creating and managing the trophy fishery of your dreams.

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