Researchers luring anadromous fish - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Researchers luring anadromous fish

  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Phoebe foundation receives donation for medical student housing

    Phoebe foundation receives donation for medical student housing

    Thursday, July 31 2014 11:25 PM EDT2014-08-01 03:25:30 GMT
    Lauren Ray, Phoebe Foundation Executive DirectorLauren Ray, Phoebe Foundation Executive Director
    A generous donation will help build a $5 million medical student housing facility on Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital's campus.The Richard King Mellon Foundation donated $1 million to the Phoebe Foundation for the proposed 25-unit gated community. More >>
    A generous donation will help build a $5 million medical student housing facility on Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital's campus.The Richard King Mellon Foundation donated $1 million to the Phoebe Foundation for the proposed 25-unit gated community. More >>
  • Dougherty County School System has Open House

    Dougherty County School System has Open House

    Thursday, July 31 2014 11:19 PM EDT2014-08-01 03:19:35 GMT
    Valerie Williams, Radium Springs Middle School PrincipalValerie Williams, Radium Springs Middle School Principal
    Dougherty County parents and students got to meet old and new faces at their schools this evening.The school system held an open house at each school for families to meet the staff and learn what to expect for the upcoming school year.More >>
    Dougherty County parents and students got to meet old and new faces at their schools this evening.The school system held an open house at each school for families to meet the staff and learn what to expect for the upcoming school year.More >>
  • Law enforcement and first responders collaborate for "National Night Out"

    Law enforcement and first responders collaborate for "National Night Out"

    Thursday, July 31 2014 11:14 PM EDT2014-08-01 03:14:28 GMT
    Imaya FreeloveImaya Freelove
    First responders reached out to the community Thursday night to build better relationships and help kids get ready for school.For the first time, all the law enforcement and first responder agencies in Dougherty County worked together on a National Night Out event. More >>
    First responders reached out to the community Thursday night to build better relationships and help kids get ready for school.For the first time, all the law enforcement and first responder agencies in Dougherty County worked together on a National Night Out event. More >>

Chattahoochee, Florida- As the saying goes, there's no place like home. Case in point, when it comes to fish that return to Lake Seminole from the Gulf of Mexico to spawn. And researchers in Georgia and Florida are working around the clock right now to study those fish.

     Like a recon mission from above, researchers on the Appalachicola River where it meets Lake Seminole have to skim the surface to find what they want below the surface. They're tagging and monitoring anadromous fish, those that live in the ocean but spawn in freshwater. "We're trying to evaluate fish passage, trying to get the fish to utilize the lock," says Senior Georgia Fisheries Biologist Ramon Martin.

     That's a task all researchers involved agree is dire when it comes to preserving stocks for sport fishing and water quality. "Over time we'll get recaptures. And then we'll be able to determine the number of fish that are congregating in the area," says Martin. "By looking at the proportion of tagged fish to untagged fish, we can estimate how many there are," adds Clemson University Professor and USGS Scientist Dr. Jeff Isley.

     Researchers could spend hours catching the fish with a rod and reel. But they say that doesn't make much sense. That's where special electrified probes mounted on the front of their boats come in handy. "It actually stuns the fish. When they're stunned, they actually align with the electro-current and swim right up to the probes," says Isley.

     That's just the beginning of the process for some of the fish. "First thing we do is check the fish to see if its got a tag in it," says Isley. If they haven't already been tagged, one is attached to the outside of the smaller fish. They larger ones have them surgically implanted. After the radio tag has been installed in the larger fish, it only takes about five minutes for the anesthesia to wear off. "Know how I can tell when he's about ready? He's going to bite me," laughs Isley.

     It's a dirty job, but it's one researchers say is necessary to ensuring nature's health and your health. "You really have to love your job to be in this field," says Ramon.

     The researchers are studying Gulf Striped Bass, Gulf Sturgeon, and Alabama Shad. Here's proof that the water quality part of their study is important. Alabama Shad are related to American Shad, which translates to "very savory."

Feedback: news@walb.com