Brent Hess and Cody Somsen with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Fisheries Division, led the Walk and Talk on August 20 at the boat ramp at McIntosh Park. Brent discussed the services his department provides. Of particular interest for us, he noted that these services include monitoring the changes in the species, health and quantity of fish in the lakes, rivers and streams in our northwest Georgia region.
One of the ways they do this is by controlled electrofishing at selected sites. The electrofishing boat is equipped with two electrodes able to send a mild current between two points. Fish crossing the path between the two electrodes will be temporarily stunned, allowing the biologists, using nets, to move them into a holding tank on the boat. From here, the fish can be identified, measured, weighed and their condition assessed before they are returned to the water from which they came. In our case, each fish was shown and identified to the Walk and Talk participants. Discussions revolved around whether the species is native to these waters or is an invasive species of concern, whether it is good to eat or has other uses, etc.
On this day, we saw longnose gar, common carp, spotted bass, channel catfish, largemouth bass, gizzard shad and some little bream.
As you may have heard, a picture is worth a thousand words. Especially when we have the help of “new to us” photographers. Pat Rivers and Steve Barden provided some of the better pictures for the day. Thank you, Pat and Steve!
We were also especially pleased to have park visitors, Christine and Nathan McKensie with their son, Wyatt, join us for the event. It is always more fun for us when kids enjoy learning with us.