In September and October, 2021, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) will be conducting their bi-annual electrofishing surveys on the Teton River. Local river conservation non-profit organization Friends of the Teton River (FTR) will assist IDFG with data collection including measuring, weighing, tagging, and taking fin clip samples to aid in long-term fisheries monitoring and research efforts.
Electrofishing involves passing a mild electrical current through the water in order to efficiently capture fish for survey purposes. The electrical current causes brief, involuntary muscle spasms in fish, resulting in their movement toward the source of the current. The fish are then netted, placed into a holding tank with fresh water and a mild anesthetic, examined, weighed, and measured. While electrofishing will temporarily stress fish and reduce the angling opportunity, trout will not be harmed during the survey. Many of the fish captured this year will also be implanted with Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tags, which allow researchers to track their movements over time. The fish are then released back into the Teton River.
The Electrofishing effort lead by IDFG provides important information on the health of the Teton River fishery. Conducting the electrofishing survey allows managers to thoroughly monitor the Teton River population. Electrofishing is the standard technique used by management agencies to sample fish populations and does not have negative or lasting effects on fish populations.
To minimize the stress of the survey on the trout and to maximize angling experience, users are asked to plan their river float or fishing trip accordingly. The schedule below gives detailed information on when and where electrofishing surveys will be conducted over the next six weeks. Avoiding angling on these sections of the Teton River during the survey times is recommended.
IDFG semi-annual electrofishing survey schedule:
Tuesday 9/7: Nickerson Reach: S. Bates to Bates
Wednesday 9/8: Breckenridge Reach: Packsaddle to Harrops
Tuesday 9/14: Nickerson Reach: S. Bates to Bates
Wednesday 9/15: Breckenridge Reach: Packsaddle to Harrops
Wednesday 9/22: S. Fork Teton: 3000W (Rexburg) to Confluence of S. Fork Teton and Henry’s Fork
Wednesday 9/29: S. Fork Teton: 3000W (Rexburg) to Confluence of S. Fork Teton and Henry’s Fork
Tuesday 10/12: Buxton Reach: Bates to Big Eddy
Wednesday 10/13: Buxton Reach: Bates to Big Eddy
If you have any questions, contact Jenn Vincent with IDFG (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Friends of the Teton River is a non-profit organization based in Driggs, Idaho. FTR has been working for clean water, healthy streams and vibrant wild fishery in the Teton River Watershed since 2001, using sound science and collaboration to accomplish on-the-ground watershed improvement projects. For more information about FTR programs call 208-354-3871 or visit our website www.tetonwater.org