Theses and Dissertations

Title: Preliminary investigations on the use of electricity for thinning overcrowded populations of bluegills (Lepomis macrochirus) Rafinesque

Name: Spencer, Sam Leon

Degree: MS

Chair: Dr. John M. Lawrence

Resides: FAA Library

University: Auburn

Location: Auburn, Alabama

Date: 1963

Pages: 53

Keywords: Electricity,Thinning,Overcrowded Populations,Bluegill.


This research was undertaken to determine if an electric generator could be used to kill or used as an aid in capturing intermediate-size bluegills (Lepomis macrochirus) Rafineque without also harming largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) Lacepede and adult or harvestable-size bluegills. The generator used for the majority of this research produced 230 volts, 180-cycle alternating current and 115 volts direct current. Experiments were conducted in a series of concrete ponds that were 24.2 feet long. 9 feet wide, 30 inches deep, and had a surface area of 0.005 acre. The test fish, bluegills, largemouthbass and green sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus) Rafinesque, were placed in screen pens in these ponds and exposed to different voltage forms, electrodes types, and exposure periods. Almost no bass and green sunfish were killed underidentical conditions that caused the death of approximately 75 percent of the bluegills. The 230 volts A. C. was more effective in producing bluegill mortality than either 115 volts A. C. or 115 volts D. C. However, 230 volts A. C. was not sufficient to kill an appreciable percentage of the bluegills with short (8-10 seconds) exposure to the electrical field. Bluegills and bass were dissected to determine the extent of internal injury caused by the electricity. Bluegills showed an average incidence of 12.2 percent dislocated or fractured vertebrae and ruptured dorsal arteries while only one bass of the 70 dissected had such visible injury. These injuries often haeled completely and the fish apparently recovered fromthe effects of being shocked.

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