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A Very Different Kind of Catch-And-Release

September 2, 2011
The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register
Photo by Ian Hicks
Ryan Argo, an aquatic biologist at the Ohio River Sanitation Commission, displays a hybrid striped bass caught on the Ohio River Thursday afternoon near Heritage Port using an angling method known as âelectrofishing.ã Joining Argo, from left, are aquatic biologist John Spaeth and interns Nate Burke and Jackie Kellerman. Electrofishing, a common practice in scientific studies of aquatic life, involves using electric current to stun fish and draw them into a net without causing them permanent harm. Cincinnati-based ORSANCO was established in 1948 to improve water quality in the Ohio River and its tributaries. The crew will continue fishing today and their catch -- expected to include about two dozen of the more than 120 species of fish which populate the Ohio River -- will be on display in a 2,200-gallon aquarium at the waterfront through the weekend during the sixth annual Wheeling Vintage Raceboat Regatta. The regatta officially gets under way at 9:45 a.m. Saturday, but the public is invited to visit Heritage Port throughout the day today and mingle with the drivers as they arrive.

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