AWRI Newsletter #55: July 2006

The Annis Water Resources Institute (AWRI) has added a 16' electrofishing boat to its fleet, affectionately named "Sparky", which significantly expands its fisheries research capabilities. The boat will be used to sample fish in lakes and large rivers. Sampling is achieved by using electrical current to temporarily stun fish, which can then be netted by researchers from the bow of the boat. This technique does little harm to the fish and is commonly used by biologists for sampling. The new boat is already being used for two research projects: (1) as part of the Muskegon Lake Long-Term Monitoring Project (supported by the Muskegon Lake Research Endowment Fund managed by the Community Foundation for Muskegon County) to provide an additional means to sample fish, which will result in better information on the fish community and size structure; and (2) to sample "large" fish in several drowned river mouth lakes, Saginaw Bay, and northern Lake Huron to assess persistent bioaccumulative toxic chemicals in fish (funded by Michigan Department of Environmental Quality). In addition to expanding AWRI's research capabilities, the electrofishing boat will provide an invaluable training opportunity for students that plan to pursue careers in aquatic sciences in general and fisheries biology in particular.

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