Fishing enthusiasts interested in the health of sport fish in the Tennessee Valley Authority’s reservoirs along the Tennessee River are invited to observe the annual surveys this spring.
The surveys, which have been conducted yearly since 1995, collect data on sport fish species such as black bass and crappie. This year’s surveys began March 12, at Wilson Reservoir, near Muscle Shoals, Ala., and will continue through May 9, at Douglas Reservoir east of Knoxville, sampling a total of nine TVA reservoirs.
The fish are collected using boat-mounted electro-fishing equipment. The units harmlessly stun the fish for a brief time causing them to surface, where they are collected, examined and evaluated by TVA biologists. Once weighed, measured and counted, the fish are released.
Biologists collect and record information such as abundance, distribution, age, relative weight and general health of the fish. The results from TVA’s fish surveys are shared with state agencies and are used to protect and improve sport fishing.
During each survey, TVA fisheries biologists will leave designated boat ramps at 7:30 a.m. local time and survey the fish until mid-afternoon. Participants with life jackets may join survey crews in TVA boats or they may follow in personal boats.
Anyone interested in going with TVA biologists on the survey should call the TVA Environmental Information Center at 800 882-5263 to schedule a time. Space is limited. The Environmental Information Center operates from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. EDT, Monday-Friday.
For more information on the TVA annual sport fish surveys and a complete list of survey locations, visit http://www.tva.com/river/fishsurvey.htm