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Case Studies
Water Management Associations
Fish Survey Spawns Invasive Aquatic Plant Surveying
An electro fishing study performed by Francis Brautigam, regional fisheries biologist for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (IFW) prompted Lakes Environmental Association executive director, Peter Lowell to use a similar device to survey for invasive aquatic plants.

Electro fishing involves cruising the shoreline in a boat fitted with an incredibly bright spot light that illuminated the lake bottom. Periodically a shock is sent into the water that stuns the fish. The fish are netted, anesthetized, weighed and measured then released back into the water.

With support from an anonymous donor and the Ram Island Conservation Fund and old pontoon boat was fitted with powerful lighting that can illuminate a wide swath of a lake’s bottom revealing the aquatic plants. If suspicious plants are spotted, a buoy is dropped so divers can check them during daylight hours.

Night surveys are less time consuming than other methods and LEA looks forward to sharing the design with other groups as well as surveying a great number of waters each year.

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Knocking on the Great Lakes Door - An aquatic invasive species that was first found in North America in the 1940’s, Eurasian watermilfoil has spread to almost every state, where it grows into thick mats that can make lakes impenetrable for boats and swimmers. Milfoil can make it impossible for native plants to grow, affecting fish and wildlife.

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