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Idaho Fish and Game count fish using electricity current

Idaho Fish and Game uses electric...

DRIGGS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Idaho Fish and Game employees and volunteers went fishing on the Teton River today, but this wasn't your ordinary, every day type of fishing. 

Fish were popping up everywhere out of the Teton River. But they're not dead. They're just...stunned.

"Electro fishing is where we put some electrical current in the water," Brett High, Regional Fisheries Biologist for Idaho Fish and Game, said. "It stuns the fish. It actually makes them swim towards the boat. It's just a temporary effect on them. It allows us to net them and catch a lot of fish quickly and measure them, identify them, mark them if we need to and then release them back into the river."

Idaho Fish and Game has been using this technique since the 80s to count the fist and see what species are in the rivers. By comparing past data to current trends, they are able to track what the fish populations are doing. 

"The numbers of fish that we're seeing out here now compared to '03 and the early 2000s has increased so dramatically," Mike Lien, Stream Restoration Director for Friends of the Teton River, said. "The fish managers believe it can only be due to the conservation efforts."

They will catch about 1,000 fish in a two mile radius today. All in hopes of keeping the rivers and fish ready for years to come.

"It helps making fishing better," High said. "So, it gives us the data that we need to get the right regulations in place and manage the river so that we have fish now and in the future for us and our kids."

Even though they catch a lot of fish during the day, Idaho Fish and Game says they only get about 20 percent of the fish in the river.

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