Electro Fishing at the Northern Indiana Lakes Festival

Kosciusko Lakes and Streams, a center for water-related applied research and community education at Grace College, is currently organizing the 2011 Northern Indiana Lakes Festival to take place at Center Lake Park on June 25. One of the highlights of the previous two festivals was the electro fishing demonstration which will also be displayed at this year’s festival. Nathan Bosch, director of Kosciusko Lakes and Streams, said, “We are really excited to have the IDNR electro fishing demonstration back again this year.  It is a great learning experience and lots of fun to watch.”  The demonstration will happen near the end of the festival, at 3 p.m.

To describe this electro fishing, Jed Pearson, a Fisheries Biologist with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources said, “The boat is equipped with a generator that provides currents which are directed through wires to electrical probes dangled into the water at the front of the boat. Fish present within a 10 foot radius at the front of the boat are temporarily stunned by the electrical current and are then dipped from the water and placed in a holding tub onboard. Stunned fish recover as soon as they are removed from the electrical field. We normally operate the boat at night in shallow water when the fish are less wary and use lights mounted on the front to see stunned fish.”

This fish sampling method is very effective for estimating local fish populations in our lakes, and it is harmless to the fish.  IDNR tracks fish populations in many local lakes to evaluate stocking programs and fishing regulations in order to ensure a sustainable fishing industry and healthy lake ecosystems.

The Lakes Festival takes place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on June 25 and is being held at Center Lake Park in Warsaw.  This free event makes a splash in local awareness and appreciation for our lakes through education, fun, experience, and celebration.  Other highlights of the lakes festival include a ski show, the Water Waddle (a one mile youth fun run), canoeing and kayaking, a boat show, musical performances, exhibits and booths featuring local businesses and nonprofits, and demonstrations and hands-on activities for children.  Guests can purchase food from local vendors and register to win great door prizes.  Aluminum water bottles will be given away as well.  Join us as we celebrate our lakes!  For more information call (574) 372-5100 x6446 or visit www.lakesfestival.org.

The event is made possible by several local sponsors, including Biomet, K21 Health Foundation, Indiana-American Water, Lake City Radio, and Zimmer as top-level sponsors.


3 Responses to “Electro Fishing at the Northern Indiana Lakes Festival”

  1. Richmonddentist02 Says:

    Is Electro fishing healthy to follow?

  2. Melanie Daryl Says:

    Well, having been said that it is safe for the fish, it can be considered as a very helpful aide in achieving a more accurate estimate of a lake’s fish population. Through this, IDNR can now formulate much more effective programs and regulations to ensure a healthy fishing industry.

  3. Steven Crist Says:

    Having grown up in Marion, Indiana, I have probably fished nearly every lake and stream in the state.  As for using electrical probes to stun fish, how can you be sure that there is no damage to the fish?  Could it damage eggs, minnows, etc.?  I remember as a teenager using electric probes in the ground to bring nightcrawlers to the surface, but never gave it much thought at the time on what damage it could be causing.