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Pinedale Online > News > October 2008 > Ditch Shocking Oct. 4

Stranded Fish. Photo by Hal Erickson.
Stranded Fish
The problem: When gates to irrigation ditches are closed, fish are stranded. In this image, Trout Unlimited members return from a successful practice run on a smaller irrigation ditch last Sunday afternoon. Photo by Hal Erickson.

Electroshocking. Photo by Hal Erickson.
The solution: T.U. President Chauncey Goodrich uses the electrofishing probe while T.U. members and volunteers follow behind, ready to catch temporarily stunned fish tumbling in the flow. A young volunteer stands by on shore, ready to exchange an empty bucket for a bucket of captured fish. Photo by Hal Erickson.
Ditch Shocking Oct. 4
Volunteers wanted
by Pinedale Chapter of Trout Unlimited
October 2, 2008

The Pinedale chapter of Trout Unlimited reminds area residents (and especially area youth) that they are invited to participate in the morning and/or afternoon sessions of the Fourth Annual Ditch Shocking & Fish Rescue, 9am to 4pm this Saturday, Oct. 4. All participants are welcome to enjoy a lunchtime barbecue. Those who prefer to stay dry (and those who don't!) can learn about identification of a variety of local fish, as seen in these images.

With the help of Wyoming Game & Fish and Bridger-Teton N.F. fisheries staffers, the T.U. chapter organizes the Shocking/Rescue annually as a family-friendly educational event. The goal is to salvage fish that are trapped when the gates to irrigation ditches are closed at the end of the growing season, leaving fish stranded as the ditches dry. Last year over 2000 fish were caught, identified, measured and returned to the river, including brown trout, rainbow trout, brook trout, speckled dace, red-side shiners, mottled sculpins and white suckers. The fished ranged from fingerlings to well upwards of 20 inches.

Last weekend, the Trout Unlimited folks joined the Wyoming G&F and Bridger-Teton N.F. fisheries personnel in a practice shocking/rescue along a smaller ditch running off the New Fork River southwest of town. A participant sent along these images from that event so that potential volunteers could see what it's all about.

This weekend's participants should bring calf-covering rubber irrigation boots ("barn boots") or waders if they plan to wade in the electrofishing groups. Training and other gear will be provided. Groups of participants will depart from 138 Willow Lake Rd, Pinedale (about 1.5 mile north of Pine Street on Willow Lake Rd) at 9am and at noon. Groups will leave fairly punctually, so please leave sufficient time to arrive by the designated departure times. Any questions may be directed to Joe Neal, TU Chapter Vice President, at 307-367-5730.

Photos courtesy Hal Erickson

Identifying fish. Photo by Hal Erickson.
Identifying fish
Darren Rhea (Fisheries Biologist, Wyoming G&F Pinedale Fisheries) teaches Nicholas Erickson how to identify a sucker while Joe Neal (fisheries biologist, Bridger-Teton N.F.) stands by ready to record the species and length. Photo by Hal Erickson.

Bucket of fish. Photo by Hal Erickson.
Bucket of fish
Jordan Marsh (Wyoming Game and Fish) and Denny Schroeder (Trout Unlimited) supervise Nicholas Erickson and set off for the bank of the adjacent New Fork River to release a bucket of identified and measured fish. Photo by Hal Erickson.

Releasing fish. Photo by Hal Erickson.
Releasing fish
Nicholas (left) & Martin Erickson release a bucket of identified, measured and recorded fish into the New Fork River. Photo by Hal Erickson.
Pinedale Online > News > October 2008 > Ditch Shocking Oct. 4

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