Join Us for Our Annual Aquatic Survey

Interested anglers or those who care about aquatic diversity in the Tennessee Valley will get a rare chance to join TVA biologists in researching the health and diversity of Tennessee Valley fish populations this fall.

OCTOBER 5, 2016—TVA will host electrofishing outings on four of its reservoirs—Guntersville, Wilson, Boone and Douglas—inviting the public along for the ride.

TVA uses boat-mounted electrofishing equipment to harmlessly and temporarily stun the fish, causing them to rise to the surface so that they can be collected, examined and evaluated. Once the fish have been weighed, measured and counted, they are then released back into the water.

The abundance, age, distribution, relative weight and general health of the fish are tabulated and recorded—and this overall information tells TVA scientists a lot about the general health of the reservoirs under observation. Results of the surveys, which are conducted every year, are then shared with state agencies such as the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources and the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

The TVA sampling crews will arrive at the boat ramp at 8:30 a.m. local time each morning. Before anyone gets on a boat, an in-depth safety meeting will be held so everyone has a full understanding of what is expected of them before leaving the ramp. Participants may observe survey crews in TVA boats or follow in their personal boats. Bring your own life jacket if possible. There is always the potential for inclement weather (rain, wind, cool temps), so bring weather-appropriate clothing.

Here's the schedule:

  • Guntersville Reservoir: Tuesday, Oct. 18, 8:30 a.m. Meet at TVA Honeycomb Ramp just off Hwy. 431 near Sunrise Marina. (lat/long 34.27036 -86.20002)
  • Wilson Reservoir: Wednesday, Oct. 19, 8:30 a.m. Meet at the Fleet Harbor Ramp off Reservation Rd. next to Wilson Dam. (lat/long 34.47330 -87.37224)
  • Boone Reservoir: Wednesday, Oct. 26, 8:30 a.m. Meet at the new Boone Dam Ramp on Boone Dam Rd. off Hwy. 75. (lat/long 36.26474 -82.25980)
  • Douglas Reservoir: Wednesday, Nov. 16, 8:30 a.m. Meet at the Douglas Dam Boat Ramp at 1680 Boat Launch Rd. in Sevierville. (lat/long 35.57425, -83.32083)

To sign up, or for more information or directions, contact TVA's Public Land Information Center. You can call them at (800) 882-5263 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern (7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Central), or send them an email at

NOTE: Events are contingent upon the weather, and may be cancelled if stormy conditions prevail.