BRUNSWICK, Mo. – Electrofishing is an illegal method for everyday people; it’s poaching. But when a government agency employs this tool, it’s typically for the purpose of harvesting an invasive species.
The Missouri Department of Conservation reported that approximately 38,700 pounds of carp were removed from the Grand River using electrofishing during two periods: from Sept. 11-14 and then again from Sept. 25-28.
They shocked the fish using poles and scooped up the fish using nets.
Electrofishing involves a generator powering an electrofishing boat. The generated power is channeled into the “booms,” which are the poles at the front of the boat in the water. The electric field doesn’t kill fish, but it temporarily stuns fish swimming within 6 to 8 feet of the booms.
Invasive carp, known for their rapid growth, consume resources essential for the survival of native fish. Although these efforts may not entirely eradicate carp from the rivers, they significantly reduce their population, benefiting native fish.
This project was a collaborative endeavor involving the MDC, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks.
The USFWS partners will continue conducting surveys in the area over the next several weeks, with their staff set to analyze the data in the coming months to estimate the impact on the invasive carp population. The goal is to reduce the species’ population by 30 to 40%.