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Electrofishing the Wels Catfish on the Ebro River, Spain [VIDEO]

The wels catfish is appearing in many areas of Europe and it is not welcome. Electrofishing can help sort out ecological impacts on native species.

Finding non-native species in waters across the world is helpful, especially when those species are destructive to fish and wildlife that have been there for millennia.

Electrofishing is one of the best non-lethal ways for biologists to discover what’s underneath the surface of waters we call “home,” and how to deal with those threats.

The wels catfish has been making its way from eastern to western Europe for years. They grow to stunning size and proportions, reaching as big as 800 pounds! In areas where the fish is invasive, they can do major damage to local populations of fish.

When something grows that big in non-native waters it’s time to check them out. Electrofishing is one of the tried and true ways to make lakes and rivers “transparent.” This method, when done correctly, does not harm fish, but merely stuns them long enough for biologists to record size, weight, and to collect scale samples.

Electrofishing the Wels Catfish on the Ebro River, Spain [VIDEO]