Game and Fish officials are working to restore balance to the fish food chain in Ranchester City Pond. Andrew Nikirk, Fisheries Biologist, explains.
Nikirk says the largemouth bass will prey upon the sunfish, thus reducing their numbers and allowing the sunfish that survive to grow big enough to become a viable dinner option for fishermen.
Nikirk explained that electrofishing from a boat is tricky business. The fishs' attraction to a positively-charged pole makes scooping them into a net much easier than line fishing, but the team carrying out the task, which also consisted of Wildlife Biologist, Paul Mavrackis, and Fishery Technicians, Garrett Point and Nathan Shepherd, had to be careful about using an electrical current in the water.
After the bass were caught with great care, they were loaded into a holding tank, driven down the road, and immediately re-released into their new home in Ranchester. Nirkirk says last week's transplant will hopefully start the recovery of the ponds' ecosystem to provide a more diverse fishing experience for anglers.
Nirkirk mentioned he and his team saw an abundance of different fish species in the Acme ponds, to include channel catfish, bigger green sunfish, black crappies, yellow perch, and catfish.