Region Forward Blog

Fish monitoring in the Anacostia with John Kelly

Apr 24, 2014
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COG's electrofishing team with Washington Post columnist John Kelly and Videographer Casey Capachi

Washington Post Metro columnist, John Kelly, joined COG staff members to monitor fish in the Anacostia River for a column and short video

As part of COG's work to restore the river and watershed, staff members document existing aquatic conditions, including the fish population. According to COG Principal Planner Phong Trieu, there have been as many as 50 different kinds of fish in the watershed. "What is often overlooked in this highly-urbanized watershed is that there are still fish which are associated with clean or high water quality conditions such as the brown trout and the least brook lamprey,” he said.

To study the fish population, COG staff perform 'electrofishing' surveys, a professional technique that stuns fish for a few seconds. Once collected they identify, count, weigh, and sometimes determine the sex of the fish. Studying their attributes and testing the water allows COG’s scientists to track rates of growth and any abnormalities the fish may have from pollution. The electrofishing method does not harm the fish involved.

For additional information, view COG's original blogpost on fish monitoring.

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