How Fish Are Collected
DEQ uses a variety of methods to collect the fish we analyze. We primarily use electrofishing (pictured above) as it is the most efficient and cost effective collection method. However, some important gamefish species are not routinely available by electrofishing due to the habitat or depth where they are usually found. Some fish species are nocturnal and only move to areas shallow enough to catch them at night when electrofishing safely is difficult. In these cases we use gill nets or other methods to collect the fish. DEQ also works collaboratively with ODWC on collections of difficult to get fish.
Depending on the contaminant of concern, fish are either biopsied in the field or taken back to the SELS to be filleted to collect tissue samples for analysis. Fish that are biopsied in the field are released back to the lake they were collected from.