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Environmental students fished for water quality knowledge

Students in the Environmental Engineering Technology class EVT 230, Treatment Technologies, didn’t let the challenges of Fall semester get in the way of an important lab experience– assessing water quality by conducting an electrofishing survey of fish populations.

Professor Ann Gunkel, the course instructor, explained, “The more diversity of species present in the river, the healthier the ecosystem.”

“If species start to disappear, it could be an indication that industries are not properly treating their wastewater that discharges into the river,” Ann said.

The electrofishing activity took place on Sept. 6, 2020, at the Thomas More University Ohio River Biology Field Station, located on the Ohio River near California, Kentucky, on Route 8/Mary Ingalls Highway.

Electrofishing “stuns” the fish so they can be caught and examined, and then returned to the water with no permanent harm.

Along with electrofishing experiences, the environmental students collected water and sediment samples to analyze for contaminants.

The class also visited a constructed wetland at the Field Biology Station that treats on-site sewage using natural processes.