Column: Shock treatment an option for invasive goldfish

Shuswap Outdoors by Hank Shelley

Rumball Creek is a pretty little stream flowing off Mt. Ida, below Foothill Road, through farm field’s, and ending at the Salmon River.

Because of a habitat and pollution concern from a property, it was decided we would electro-shock the system to determine the resident trout population.

Bob, our DFO habitat tech at the time, myself, and a first aid chap, walked the stream to find a number of trout. Used like a metal detector, the wand emits a 12-volt jolt, stunning but not killing the fish. Likewise, the black box on a downrigger while fishing generates what is called, electrolysis or galvanic electrolite running down the cable. It generates about eight volts in saltwater. To understand how it all works, look up “Scotty black box” on Google.

Trout and salmon are attracted to positive energy and repelled by negative, while an angler is fishing a downrigger, cannon ball or cable. A electrical field builds around a boat, passing through water. This is why a zinc anode is fastened to the leg of the outboard motor. This reduces electrical impulses. Another example of positive energy, attracting game fish is a copper/lead small pipe lure with hook, trolled near the bottom, attracting ling cod and halibut in the ocean. Apparently it’s very effective. Both elements repel each other but attract the fish.

Can sending electric current through water on a larger scale (electro-shocking) eradicate unwanted species?

Rotenone is used in small lakes to remove perch, dace and shiners. Now shocking has been used in Dragon Lake(Quesnel), with good success, and Paul Lake east of Kamloops to remove swarms of red sided dace.

In recent meetings between BC Parks, a White Lake resident group, the Salmon Arm Fish and Game Club and other concerned outdoor groups (from Chase and Kamloops) it was contemplated that shocking may work to remove large numbers of goldfish that have historically inhabited the lake. Most goldfish are found in shallower water, bays or shoals. A crew would monitor and record these locations. Then electro-shocking would begin.

Read more: White Lake part of invasive goldfish study

Read more: Investigating White Lake

Read more: Invasive species can be a matter of perspective

White Lake is one of the most popular angling lakes in the Shuswap. Goldfish are actually taking away aquatic food like damselflies and stoneflies and shrimp from the trout. There are a number of other concerns regarding this beautiful lake, like beaver issues on Cedar Creek, the stocking of 48,000 female sterile trout per year (too many fish!) and habitat issues. Hopefully, at a cost of $2,500 a day for the shocking crew, it’s a start in the right direction to have White Lake regain its rightful balance once again as a BC angling icon.


@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Festival goers at the 27th annual Roots and Blues Festival

The Observer asked: Where are you from and what brought you to the festival?

In photos: The 27th Annual Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival

Images from Friday evening and Saturday at the festival grounds.

Summerland cannabis shop receives approval in principle

Inspection now required before Green Gaia may sell cannabis

North Okanagan-Shuswap Liberal candidate responds to Trudeau ethics report

Prime Minister’s immediate response to commissioner’s findings appreciated

QUIZ: How much do you remember about Woodstock?

Weekend music festival in Bethel, New York, was held 50 years ago

U16 B.C. fastpitch team named national champs

Girls went undefeated at national tournament in Calgary

Summerland’s downtown has gone through numerous changes

Main Street has been commercial hub of community for many years

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

Okanagan climate advocacy group protests against Tolko

Group to demonstrate outside Vernon head office Monday over plan to log close to water supply

Okanagan Cultural Connections live venue tour kicks off in Vernon

Two dozen promoters, national booking agents, and music reps to visit venues from Vernon to Oliver

Most Read