NOXUBEE, Miss. (WCBI) — On April 26th, a youth fishing derby is planned for some area kids at the Sam Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge. But to make sure it’s a fun-filled Saturday, Refuge managers must make sure the kids have something to catch.
On the waters at the Noxubee County Refuge a boat is rigged in a weird way having two probes and a control box onboard. Refuge officials are getting an accurate, non-scientific assessment of just what is in the water.
“It’s one of the ways, the gear type that we use to collect fish in the wild or in this case in a management pond. This helps us to evaluate the number of fish and sometimes we can assess what the community assemblage is so what types of species are in the water. That can tell us a lot about the health of the ecosystem,” said Glen Constant/US Fish & Wildlife Service/Baton Rouge, LA.
In order to make sure about 150 kids have a positive fishing experience … first, electro-fishing has to be done under the watchful eye of a trained biologist.
“And there is a field that generates as the generator pushes current through this control box that we have and its regulated so that its not killing the fish. Its just stunning them temporarily, so we can take a look at them. In some cases we want to identify the fish or count the fish. Then they just swim off,” said Constant
The idea of the electro-fishing exercise is to make sure each child participating in the upcoming fishing derby catch at least three fish.
“In this case we don’t have that number so what we are going to do is put a lot of fish in here to beef the numbers up,” Constant said.
“We know we were down and we’ve had some very good fishing events in the last two years and kids have caught a lot of fish here. So we knew we’re going to have to stock probably some. We didn’t realize it was this low but then again otters, alligators, and eagles have to eat too so that’s probably where they all went,” said Steve Regan
In one of those ponds they’ll have to put in about twelve hundred pounds of catfish for those kids to have a good day out on the water.