Principles and Techniques of Electrofishing


Target Audience:

Aquatic biologists that use electrofishing as a sampling or collecting tool.

Summary and Objectives:

This class builds knowledge and skills that will enable biologists to increase the standardization and efficiency of electrofishing sampling while operating in a safer manner. Participants learn how to apply electrical circuit and field concepts to various challenges related to sampling, equipment performance, selection of suitable equipment, equipment troubleshooting, fish injury, and safety.

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Improve standardized sampling and efficiency by developing power/power density goal settings (power and electric field standardization), manipulating waveform attributes (type, frequency, duty cycle, voltage, etc.), evaluating electrode design and placement; and incorporating efficiency factors in sampling designs.
  • Evaluate equipment by estimating effective operating range across water conductivities based on equipment specifications, electrode resistance, and power required for successful electrofishing.
  • Evaluate equipment by considering waveform control, metering, and safety features.
  • Operate electrofishing equipment safely.
  • Develop a safety program for staff.
  • Use a fish injury risk model to assess and minimize electrofishing-induced fish injury.
  • Evaluate the usefulness of catch-per-unit effort data to detect trends.
  • Describe a process to estimate capture probabilities and then use these estimates to adjust catch-per-effort data to abundance estimates.
  • Understand and apply concepts presented in the electrofishing literature.


Technical Problem Solving - Basic, Field Data Collection - Intermediate, Safety Engineering - Advanced

Course Short Name
Course Type
Training Tuition Cost
36 hours
Training Credit Hours
Semester Hours
Course Contact

Questions and Registration

Course Contact

Upcoming Sessions of this Course

Session date and time
Location Classroom
Shepherdstown, WV

Session Contact

Session date and time
Location Classroom
Shepherdstown, WV

Session Contact


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