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Swim Up And Be Counted!

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Published on: Oct. 2, 2002

Last revision: Nov. 12, 2010

next few months we handled flathead catfish, crappie, largemouth bass, bluegill, tons of buffalo and many other species of fish.

Electrofishing works well in a variety of habitats, from small streams to big lakes. The technique is used for many different species of fish, but it works especially well for for largemouth bass and bluegill in the spring.

Springing the Trap

We also rely on Fyke nets (also called trap nets) in reservoirs and lakes. A fyke net has a lead line (sometimes two

or three) connected to the shore. The lead works like a wall to direct fish into the net basket, which is usually anchored in deeper water, perpendicular to the shoreline. Fish entering the net swim through a series of funnels, which are easy to enter, but difficult to exit.

Fyke nets are best at capturing fish that move along the shorelines migrating, feeding or searching for cover. They are especially good for capturing crappie in the fall.

Hoop nets are framed with four to eight hoops that are 2 to 9 feet in diameter. The hoops are covered with netting to form a trap that has one open end (mouth) and a closed end. Hoop nets are used in rivers and deployed by boat. A rope and anchor are attached to the back of the net. The mouth of the net faces downstream, and the current holds the net open. Hoop nets are most often used for capturing catfish. Managers may use cheese, soybean cake or anything that stinks to attract fish into the net.

Gill nets and trammel nets are vertical walls of netting typically set in a straight line. They are used in water ranging from 8 to 20 feet deep. They can be anchored to the bottom or allowed to float or drift. Fish swimming into the net are caught by the gills in a gill net, or tangled in a bag or layers of mesh in the case of a trammel net.

These nets are used in many different types of habitats, from rivers to lakes. Gill nets and trammel nets were first developed in ancient Egypt. They are time-tested tools for capturing most species of fish, and work especially well on walleye, sturgeon and paddlefish.

A seines is a long, rectangular piece of net. When the wall of netting is pulled through shallow water it encloses fish. These nets can be pulled by hand, boat or tractor. They work well

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