Sucker mortality?

Discussion in '(MDC) All other hunting related questions......' started by Haris122, Oct 20, 2017.

  1. Haris122

    Haris122 Member

    139
    Nov 12, 2013
    Went fishing at the red ribbon section on the Meramec earlier this week, and saw a lot of dead suckers in the river. The weird part about it all was that almost none had any kind of wound that would indicate gigging or something of that sort. Almost every last one seemed perfectly intact, having sank to the bottom and just died there. It was spread across several different species of suckers too, so I was wondering if you guys have seen something like that happening before, and what the cause of the deaths might be? Thanks.
     
  2. Maconplc

    Maconplc Active Member

    624
    Dec 14, 2009
    Thank you for reporting this. I have forwarded it to a fisheries biologist down that way and hopefully he can get an answer. I'll post when I hear back.
     

  3. Maconplc

    Maconplc Active Member

    624
    Dec 14, 2009
    Talked with the fish biologist from that area and he said it could potentially be from an electroshocking mission last Monday. He was not there when it was done so not sure, but he said suckers sometimes do not do well with electrofishing. He said most of them do come out of it in most cases but occasionally not.
     
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  4. Maconplc

    Maconplc Active Member

    624
    Dec 14, 2009
    This is straight from the biologist that was shocking fish that day.
    "If there were no other wounds present on the fish, I would also assume that the deaths were likely caused by our electrofishing sample last week. Although we use electrical settings that are shown to not injure fish, there are occasions when individuals get trapped in the strongest part of the electrical field for too long and can’t recover. When we’re targeting trout and there’s thousands of suckers in the same area, it is extremely difficult to keep the non-target individuals out of the field. Usually >99% of the fish that are stunned recover within an hour of the electrofishing event; we saw thousands of suckers during the sample, and do our best to make sure we don’t injure fish unnecessarily, but we know that sampling can be extremely stressful on some. We try to balance the amount of sampling/stress on the fish in the area with the quantity of data we need to have to evaluate trout survival and growth, and the last 3 years have actually reduced how often we sample while still getting what we feel is high quality and relevant information."
     
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