HANCEVILLE, ALA. – Wallace State’s BASS fishing club is welcoming Alabama Aquarium and Pond Services to Hanceville on Friday, Sept. 19, as the 5.3 acre pond on campus undergoes an electrofishing process to determine the exact fish in the pond.
The fundraiser, set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., is hosted by the Wallace State BASS fishing club, which is in its third season. The club has plans to restock the pond with bass and crappie later this fall and is utilizing the services of Alabama Aquarium and Pond Services to get a better feel of what needs to be added.
“To stock the pond we need to determine what the population of the fish are in the pond. This process will also help the college set size limits, quantity limits and make decisions about what is appropriate for that size of a pond,” said BASS club faculty sponsor Joe Hendrix, an instructor in Wallace State’s Industrial Electronics Department. “We’ll take recommendations from the biologists coming from Alabama Aquarium and Pond and figure out what we need to do. This event can be considered Pond Management 101.”
Hendrix and the BASS club invite anyone in the community interested in biology, pond management and fishing to attend the event, which is free. Alabama Aquarium and Pond Services plan to bring multiple biologists to discuss the electrofishing and pond management processes.
“We have biology classes coming and some of the biology instructors have mentioned that they’ve used this as a means of encouraging their students to attend the event. You’ll get to see the entire ecosystem of a pond, and we’ll have the biologists speaking about what we find,” Hendrix said. “We encourage anyone to come out. If you are a land owner who has a pond and don’t know what to do with it or are not sure what’s in it, this is a great opportunity to learn more about this process. This is what the guys at Alabama Aquarium and Pond do for a living.”
The electrofishing method temporarily shocks the fish in a pond. During this survey, the fish float to the surface, and the biologists can then measure and count the number of fish in addition to examining the quality and overall health of the species living in the pond. In electrofishing, two poles are extended off a boat and form a current, which shocks the fish within its parameters.
Kyle Moon is one of the biologists at Alabama Aquarium and Pond Services who will be on hand next week. Moon began his college career at Gadsden State and is glad to be assisting Wallace State’s BASS club with the project.
“The community college system is close to my heart so we are excited to help out any chance we get. We hope there is a great turnout. We want as many people to attend because they can see a side of biology they don’t normally see. Through this process, you can see fish up close and personal, and it provides a different perspective than just casting and reeling. I want people to see this side of biology,” Moon said. “We will temporarily stun the fish during this process. It’s not a harmful process for the fish, they swim away afterward.”
Moon and his colleagues will arrive at Wallace State at approximately 10 a.m. He estimates the best time to see the electrofishing process in full effect is at 11 a.m.
Wallace State’s pond is located near the back of campus, in front of the men’s dorms and directly past Tom Drake Coliseum. Students and the public are prohibited from fishing in the pond, which was constructed in the late 1980s.
Moon predicts Wallace State will find a considerable amount of largemouth bass once the electrofishing process is complete.
“With a pond that size you roughly have 25 to 30 pounds of fish per acre. We’ll probably run into a bass-crowded situation with a lot of predators and no feeders. You’ll probably see a lot of largemouth bass who are at the top of the food pyramid and have nothing to feed on,” said Moon, who added the forecasted cooler weather on the horizon will benefit the process on Friday.
Alabama Aquarium and Pond Services will also have equipment on hand for the public to check out or purchase.
Those interested in Wallace State’s BASS fishing club can call Hendrix at 256.352.8154 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Diesel Technology Instructor Jeremy Smith is also a faculty sponsor.
For more information about Wallace State, visit wallacestate.edu.
Wallace State Community College
P.O. Box 2000, Hanceville, AL 35077
1-866-350-9722 256-352-8443 direct
Visit us online at www.wallacestate.edu
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Wallace State Community College
801 Main Street NW | Hanceville, AL 35077