I was an electro fisher for the Environment Agency in Penrith. This was seasonal work which took me all over Cumbria and Northumbria. My main responsibility was to temporarily stun and capture fish, identify them, measure and record their length. This work was mostly carried out in freshwater river systems and concerned salmonids, however some cast netting was carried out in estuaries and along the coast. Other roles included gathering adipose fins for genetic sampling, fish rescues and kick samples. I had to frequently deal with the public and had to develop excellent identification skills. The work was physically demanding and required team work throughout. Additional duties included equipment maintenance and public relations. I also received first aid training during this time. The management was fantastic and I got on well with them. My co-workers were a joy to work with and we operated excellently as a team. The hardest part of my job was lifting and carrying heavy objects, but I still coped well and handled it better over time. The most enjoyable part of the job was handling the fish and measuring eels.
I got to work outside and hands on!