Zombie bass, as seen in the video, is quite an adequate name for the group of bass that are floating like “zombies” after being stunned by electrofishing. “Bernie Fuller has fished for decades, yet he's never witnessed anything to match the sight of dozens of zombie bass eerily rising out of a north Alabama lake,” reports the Associated Press on April 6.
Fisherman Fuller was one of nine anglers that went on a research trip last week to study bass on Wheeler Lake near Rogersville. The trip was conducted by biologists studying fish in Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) lakes.
By using electrofishing, which includes directing a weak electrical charge from a boat into the water, biologists are able to stun bass and other fish.
As seen in the video, with their eyes and mouths wide open, the motionless bass do look like zombies as they come floating up to the surface of the water. While incapacitated, biologists are able to fish them easily up with a net, place them into a holding tank, measure them, weigh them, check them for any diseases, and then release them again.
The zombie bass are able to recover from their zombie-like state after a few minutes and are then being released back into the water. During last weeks research trip, none of the fish died. Biologists can use the data collected from the fish to help TVA’s lake management. For fisherman Bernie Fuller, as well as the other anglers, having been part of the electrofishing research trip meant finally being able to see where all those bass were hiding before they started floating up as zombies -- in the water around fallen trees and rocks.