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Minnesota Agency Using Electrofishing to Learn Water Quality

Thinkstock
Thinkstock

AITKIN, Minn. (AP) _ A Minnesota agency is monitoring the quality of the
state’s waterways by capturing fish using low voltage shocks.

The different types of fish the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency team will catch through electrofishing can tell them about a river’s quality.

For example, biologist Nate Sather says longnose dace are sensitive to
disturbance and pollution so finding them in a river is a good sign.

The crew uses yellow poles that send a low voltage charge into the water. It
momentarily stuns the fish and allows them to be captured easily using nets.

The fish are returned to the river after the team takes their measurements.

The five-person team is part of a statewide, 10-year cycle of reviewing water
quality in all 80 Minnesota watersheds.

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