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Each year the Fishery Division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources conduct fish surveys on lakes in Southern Illinois. InFocus follows Fisheries biologist Chris Bickers as he conducts a survey on Little Grassy Lake using a technique called electrofishing. In this process, an electric charge is passed through the water using giant electrodes mounted in the front of the boat. The charge stuns the fish, which are then netted and placed in a holding tank where they quickly recover. After the fish are collected, they are weighed and measured, and the data is compared to previous years to make recommendations to improve the fishery, if needed. Bickers points out the surprising variety and sizes of the fish collected and emphasizes the importance of monitoring the region's lakes in order to make meaningful decisions about fisheries management and conservation.
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