Here’s an idea for a fun family outing that provides valuable information about the health of your fishery. Conduct seine sampling to compile a census of spring spawning success and strength of the food chain.
All you need is a 10 to 20-foot seine. They average three to five feet tall. Tie each end to the top and bottom of a one-inch PVC pipe, six-foot long. There are two seine techniques. One person can hold a pole near the shoreline, while their partner wades straight out to seine depth. Keeping the seine taut and in-contact with the bottom, the deep holder swings back to shore. Don’t be surprised if a few mature, stronger fish add excitement by jumping the net before you reach shallow areas. As the deep puller reaches the shoreline, it’s important to leave fish covered with water during evaluation. The second method involves dragging parallel to the shore for 15 to 20-yards, then the deep holder swings toward shore and you corral fish at the water line.
Using a small dip net and notebook:
- List locations of seine sites.
- Count fish caught in each drag.
- List lengths and species, if large enough to identify. Newly-hatched ones may be so small they appear transparent. Most common findings are bluegill, redear sunfish, green sunfish, largemouth bass, channel catfish, fathead minnows, golden shiners, and bullhead catfish. Google images if not familiar with markings.
- Avoid handling fish. Hold in the net, keep in the water, and release quickly.
- Take close-up photos of unusual findings and text to your biologist.
Don’t forget to wear a flotation vest in case you slip or step off in a deep hole! Great fun! Great stories when you’re enjoying smores that night. Send photos and we’ll share with the Pond Boss family.
See the below video for seining methods.